Effort to recall Sorrento mayor fails

An effort to recall Sorrento Mayor Mike Lambert collapsed after organizers failed to get the required number of signatures for the recall petition by the Wednesday deadline.

Leaders of the effort that began Nov. 22 had until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to turn in the recall petition with the required number of signatures to the Ascension Parish Registrar of Voter’s office, but no petition was submitted.

The petition needed 348 signatures, one-third of the registered voters in Sorrento.

“Whatever the outcome of the recall petition, I was going to do what I think is best for Sorrento,” Lambert said Wednesday evening.

“I did not at all let that recall (effort) alter any decision making. I was going to do what I think is right,” he said.

It’s the second recall effort to fail in Sorrento this week. On Monday, a recall effort against Town Councilman Randy Anny also failed to get the required number of signatures.

The recall effort against Lambert was led by Sorrento residents Donald Trabeaux Jr. and the late Brian Sisk, who died in February.

Trabeaux could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

In November, Trabeaux said that he and others disagreed with the mayor’s goal of disbanding the town’s Police Department because of the cost of operating it.

The Sorrento Police Department suffered a series of setbacks during the past several months. It lost its liability insurance in November, and in February, Police Chief Earl Theriot resigned and pleaded guilty to lying to an FBI agent about inappropriate sexual contact with a heavily intoxicated woman whom Theriot picked up during a police call.

The town contracts with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office for police protection on nights and weekends, and Sorrento Assistant Police Chief Ricky Smith patrols during weekday hours.

Earlier this year, Lambert worked with state Sen. Jody Amedee, R-Gonzales, to introduce a bill abolishing the town’s Police Department and police chief post.

The bill, Senate bill 601, is pending a vote in the state House.