Thursday evening, three St. Bernard Parish councilmen released a written statement calling for parish president David Peralta to resign.
Below is the entire letter that Gary McInnis, Ray Lauga, and Casey Hunnicutt addressed to Peralta.
It reads, in part, “In our opinion, your recent personal and legal issues have overtaxed your capacity to maintain the public trust and provide fruitful and productive leadership moving St. Bernard Parish forward. Your personal and legal issues have, and continue to have, a negative effect and reflection on the citizens of St. Bernard Parish. We feel your legal issues have exceeded you personally, and now impede St. Bernard Parish and a whole.”
The letter goes on to say, “We believe that it is in the best interest of St. Bernard Parish and its governance to respectfully request your voluntary resignation of the Parish President’s office in order to deliver the most beneficial government that the citizens of St. Bernard Parish deserve.”
The letter follows Peralta’s booking on a single count of sexual battery Thursday morning. He was indicted by a grand jury the previous afternoon.
The case stems from allegations from Peralta’s now estranged wife. She accuses him of attacking and raping her inside the couple’s home last year.
Peralta did not comment following his release from jail after posting a $20,000 bond.
But his attorney, Stephen London, responded to any suggestion that Peralta should resign by saying, “Let’s put this in the proper perspective. This is his personal life here. This isn’t like he’s been accused of taking a bribe, he’s been accused of malfeasance… This has nothing to do with his position as parish president.”
Sharon Schaefer Peralta released the following statement following her husband’s release on bond.
“I am relieved that after all the testimony the Grand Jury heard yesterday that they handed down an indictment for sexual battery for what he did to me on my birthday! It isn’t over yet. I will make a formal request and ask that all of the judges recuse themselves as they have in previous matters concerning David and I. My family and I can begin a healing process that will take some time.”
David Peralta’s attorneys say there is no need for a judge outside of St. Bernard Parish to hear the case, although the parish’s district attorney is allowing the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office to handle the prosecution.