NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— On Thursday (Feb. 2), Times-Picayune filed a petition for writ of mandamus against Mayor Latoya Cantrell’s recall organizer, Eileen Carter, hoping to force Carter to release the names, addresses, and signatures of each elector that signed the petition.
WGNO Legal Analyst Cliff Cardone says that state law favors the Picayune.
“The law is quite clear on that. They are entitled to that information. The only defense that the custodian of the records, who would be Eileen Carter has would be that there would be some type of irreparable harm in advance,” said Cliff Cardone, WGNO Legal Analyst.
Over the weekend, the recall campaign released a statement saying they would not release the names asking the question, “is this in the best interest of the community when this administration is known to retaliate?”
“She’s going to probably have to show there is some harm, or retaliation or some harm that has been made already against a voter, then produce that information at the hearing. Then, perhaps, a judge may craft some sort of relief that would protect the voting public from full disclosure,” said Cliff Cardone.
WGNO reached out to the Times-Picayune and their editor, Rene Sanchez, sent a statement saying they have no intention of mass publishing names on the recall.
“We believe it’s in the public interest to know whether public officials are part of the recall movement or not. It’s also in the public interest to know where generally in the city the recall is strong or not.”Rene Sanchez, Editor, Times Picayune
The hearing is Wednesday (Feb. 8) at Civil District Court and Cardone warns this may not be the end of this case.
“The judge can do whatever she wants, but the question is whether or not the other side or who’s on the opposite end of that finding or ruling wants to appeal it,” said Cliff Cardone, WGNO Legal Analyst.
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