The state is once again petitioning to have New Iberia City Councilman David Merrill removed from office. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals received briefs from both the state and Merrill and will rule on a lower court ruling that allowed Merrill to remain in office.
In February, District Judge Gerard Wattigny ruled Merrill could retain his seat by claiming Merrill was never formally convicted because his conviction was set aside pending his successful completion of the requirements necessary to have his record expunged.
But the local district attorney disagrees. Under state law, convicted felons must wait fifteen years before they can quality to run for office, unless they get a pardon from the parole board or the Governor. The state alleges that Merrill didn’t wait or obtain the necessary pardon.