John Moreau’s job status unclear amid accusations
OPELOUSAS — John Moreau, St. Landry Parish’s registrar of voters, was arrested by Opelousas police Friday afternoon on one count of simple damage to property belonging to a woman who sought court protection from the longtime courthouse official.
Moreau, who has served as the St. Landry registrar since 1985, was being held at the Opelousas City Jail on Friday afternoon in lieu of $10,000 bail, Police Chief Perry Gallow said.
The woman, Susan Gerace, 47, told police Friday that Moreau used a key to damage her car parked at the St. Landry Parish Courthouse, where she works.
Gallow said Gerace is not an employee with the Registrar’s office, which is located at the courthouse.
“We received a call early this morning about a vehicle that had been damaged on the courthouse square,” Gallow said.
In court papers filed Friday, Gerace alleged Moreau on Wednesday scratched her car by “keying” the metal. She said he also punctured the front driver’s-side tire with an “ice pick or some similar tool.”
Gallow said the complaint was similar to one Gerace made against Moreau in December, when she claimed he loosened a tire valve stem on three occasions.
She also said Moreau wrote letters to her and placed them at the front door of her home and in her mailbox.
She said Moreau left three letters in December. Gerace did not disclose what the letters said.
As of Friday, Moreau’s job status was not clear.
The St. Landry Parish Council appoints the registrar of voters and, under the state constitution, can remove him “for cause.”
“I don’t know what the ramifications are. I’m at a loss,” Parish Councilman Leon Robinson said when asked what steps, if any, the council might take.
Councilman Hurlin Dupre, contacted Friday evening, said he had not yet heard about Moreau’s arrest and he, too, was not certain how the council would address the situation.
Advocate staff writer Billy Gunn contributed to this report.