Iberia council agree to ask AG to investigate Romero
NEW IBERIA — With a vote of 10-3 on Wednesday, the Iberia Parish Council set Nov. 6 as the date for the voters to decide on legalizing video poker in the parish.
The council also voted unanimously to ask the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office to investigate if Parish President Errol “Romo” Romero violated state law when taking affidavits concerning allegations of voter intimidation during the last district attorney election.
Councilman Thomas Landry said he did not know how much money video poker would generate, and Councilman Curtis Baudoin said he was voting for it because he was tired of seeing parish residents spending their money on video poker in St. Mary and St. Martin parishes.
Should voters vote to legalize video poker, the proposition would have to appear before the Legislature for final approval. Council members have said they will dedicate the tax revenue from video poker between the parish jail and road work.
Council members Landry, Baudoin, Maggie Daniels, Troy Comeaux, David Ditch, Ricky J. Gonsoulin, Glenn Romero, Jerome Fitch, Aquicline Arnold, and David Wayne Romero voted to set the video poker election date. Council member Bernard Broussard, Roger Duncan and Marty Trahan voted against it. Lloyd Brown was absent.
Also during the meeting, the council voted unanimously to split up the investigation of alleged voter intimidation of the District Attorney’s Office between the council and the state Attorney General’s Office.
The council hired Lafayette attorney Donald Washington last month to find out if the parish president violated the parish charter by submitting what it calls “misleading” affidavits to the state Attorney General’s Office.
The council launched the investigations because of a series of letters the parish president wrote earlier this year to the state Attorney General’s Office and other state agencies alleging that staff members from District Attorney Phil Haney’s office had intimidated residents to vote against him during the last election.
Attorney General Buddy Caldwell told Errol Romero in an April 16 letter that the allegations had no merit after interviewing those who were named in the affidavits. Caldwell added there may have been laws violated in taking the affidavits and making false allegations.
Broussard said that once Washington completes his investigation, the council will submit its findings to the state Attorney General’s Office and State Police. He said the council hopes to have its investigation completed within two weeks.