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Attorney general says abolishing Pointe Coupee Police Jury is constitutional

3 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago Wednesday, April 26 2017 Apr 26, 2017 April 26, 2017 7:22 PM April 26, 2017 in News
Source: WBRZ

POINTE COUPEE PARISH- Attorney General Jeff Landry has released an opinion saying the Pointe Coupee Home Rule Charter is not in violation of the Constitution.

The charter, which was approved by voters in 2016, would change the parish's governing style and dissolve the Pointe Coupee Police Jury after the 2018 elections. This would force sitting jurors to step down a year short of their full term.

The attorney general released an opinion on the matter this past week.

"The Pointe Coupee Home Rule Charter does not violate the U.S. Constitution, the Louisiana
Constitution, or the Louisiana Revised Statutes by abolishing the police juror form of government
and thereby shortening the terms of office for certain sitting police jurors," the statement read.

The president of the police jury, Cornell Dukes, and his colleagues sought the professional opinion of Baton Rouge lawyer Leo Hamilton in December. Hamilton concluded it would be illegal to dissolve the police jury before the members finish their terms.

However, the police jury's lawyer, Dannie Garrett, countered by saying there is plenty of legal precedent for transitioning governments before the end of the juror's terms. He points to Natchitoches Parish which changed governing styles in 2011. Police jurors there still had three years left in their terms when the body was dissolved.

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