CLINTON — Louisiana’s dual office-holding law would allow an East Feliciana Parish sheriff’s deputy to serve simultaneously on the Clinton Board of Aldermen, a state
attorney general’s opinion says.
Wendi M. Hooge, chief civil sheriff’s deputy for the parish, was one of 10 town residents who qualified to run for a seat on the five-member board in the Nov. 6 election.
Hooge said, however, she decided to withdraw from the race after some people raised questions about whether holding both positions would violate the law.
She said she decided to pull out of the race while she could still get her qualifying fees refunded.
“If I had won, it could have been contested,” she said last month.
The opinion, dated Wednesday and delivered to Hooge on Thursday, says an alderman holds elective office in a political subdivision of the state and a civil deputy sheriff holds an appointive office.
A section of the dual office-holding law prohibits someone from holding elective office and a full-time appointive office, but the law also contains an exemption that permits a full-time deputy sheriff to hold the elective office of alderman in a municipality with a population of 2,500 or less.
The opinion, written by Assistant Attorney General Erin C. Day, says the 2010 census put Clinton’s population at 1,653, meaning that a full-time East Feliciana sheriff’s deputy could serve concurrently on the Board of Aldermen.
Remaining in the race are incumbents Johnny Beauchamp, George Kilbourne, Clovis Matthews and Lisa Davis Washington, along with challengers Marilyn Goff, Jonathan L. Loveall, Dequincey Matthews, Dana Tucker and Kim Wilson Young.
Alderwoman Lori Ann Bell is running for mayor against Robert Frank Flowers and incumbent Don Reason.
The Friends of the Clinton Library organization is sponsoring a candidates’ forum at 11:30 a.m. Thursday in the fellowship hall of Clinton United Methodist Church. The public is invited to attend, and lunch will be served for $7 per person.
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