NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Organizers of the effort to recall New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell were taken to Civil District Court today for a lawsuit from the Times Picayune newspaper.

Today in Civil Court the two sides—the Times Picayune and recall group reached a settlement and agreed to release the names of those who signed the recall petition. organizers must do so by February 22nd, the same day the names are submitted to the Secretary of State and Registrar’s Office. February 22nd is the final day of recall.

Judge D. Nicole Sheppard said the organizers have within an hour of filing the documents to give the Times Picayune a duplicate copy. The newspaper said it is the public’s right to know if local officials have signed the petition and those names are public record.
Both sides said they are relieved a settlement was reached.

Scott Sternberg, Attorney for Reporter Matt Sledge with Times Picayune said, “A good settlement is when everybody is a little bit happy, a little bit disappointed and I think what happened today was a win for the public.”

Eileen Carter with said, “Sign your name, guess what no one will see it until we hand in that list of registered voters. I’ve been wanting to say that no one will see your name prior to us handing it in at the same time. That’s such a relief to say out loud.”

According to the lawsuit, the Times Picayune is asking that the group release the names of those who have signed the petition arguing that the names are public record.

The recall organization said they will not give up the names. In a a statement they said they believe the voters have a right to their privacy as they would with any election.

WGNO’s legal analyst Cliff Cardone said earlier this week that the state law favors the Times Picayune.

In a statement from the Times Picayune they said they have no intention of mass publishing the names on the recall, but they believe it is in the public’s interest to know of public officials are part of the recall efforts and what part of the city the recall effort is going strong.

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