Cycling councilman's signs seized
GONZALES - Police issued a summons to a Gonzales City Council member after they said he pedaled a bike covered in political signs too close to polling places on election day.
Gonzales Police said Timothy Vessel was spotted riding a three-wheeled bike covered in signs early Tuesday morning along Irma Boulevard.
The signs included messages to "Vote Against The Recall", "Elect Time Vessel #66 City Councilman at Large", and "Gary Lacombe Gonzales City Council Division E." Lacombe and Vessel are being targeted for recall elections on Dec. 6 due to their votes over zoning issues which cost the city job opportunities and decisions to slash public safety funding in the city budget.
Police said Vessel parked his bike outside the Ascension Parish Courthouse at one point, pointing the signs at the East Ascension High School where voting was taking place. He also pedaled down to Gonzales City Hall, another voting precinct.
Gonzales PD said they checked with the Secretary of State's Office and confirmed all political signs must be at least 600 feet away from any polling station, no matter what the signs say. Officers measured the spots where Vessel rode and parked his bike and said they fell well under the 600 foot limit.
A Gonzales Police officer found Vessel handing out flyers and gave him the summons, then placed all the political signs into evidence.
Police said when confronted about the signs Vessel said, "Wait a minute. This ain't even an election year."