Process started to recall City Marshal Brian Pope

(Photo: Paul Kieu, The Advertiser)

Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope’s problems may be getting worse.

On Monday, someone started the process to recall Pope, who took office in January 2015.

Lafayette Parish Registrar of Voters Charlene Meaux-Menard said a petition was filed Monday and sent to the Louisiana Secretary of State Office.

The person behind the recall move will have 180 days to collect 27,500 signatures from registered voters in the city of Lafayette.

That’s 33 1/3 of the 82,298 city residents who were registered to vote as of Sunday, Meaux-Menard told The Daily Advertiser.

After 180 days, the petitioner must present the signed petition to Meaux’s office, which will verify the signatures are legitimate.

If the petition contains the proper number of legitimate signatures, the governor will issue a proclamation ordering an election to recall Pope, according to state law.

The individual behind the petition declined to identify themselves Monday. They created a Recall Brian Pope page on Facebook in May.

Pope’s legal troubles started when The Independent news organization took him to court for refusing to produce email records involving the 2015 campaign for Lafayette Parish Sheriff.

The Independent sought emails they believed would prove Pope conspired with Sheriff’s candidate Chad Leger, who is now the Scott police chief, in his race against Mark Garber, who was ultimately elected Sheriff.

Pope was sentenced to serve 7 days on a contempt charge for not handing over the emails. He served his time using a monitoring device.

In November, Pope was indicted by a grand jury on four counts of malfeasance in office and two counts of perjury.

The indictment alleges Pope committed perjury under oath Dec. 28, 2015, in a deposition involving The Independent’s lawsuit when he denied he ordered the mass distribution of emails related to the Sheriff’s race via a third party .

The second perjury charge alleges Pope lied under oath in the same deposition, this time denying Hilary “Joe” Castille, who worked for Leger’s campaign, assisted Pope in distributing a media advisory in advance of a press conference about the election.

The malfeasance charges allege that on Sept. 1, Oct. 7 and Nov. 20, 2015, and June 13, 2016, Pope “did intentionally refuse or fail to perform any duty lawfully required of him.”

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