Mayoral candidate files lawsuit against Governor, Sheriff over EBR curfew
BATON ROUGE – A candidate for Baton Rouge Mayor-President says he will continue a lawsuit against Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards and East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux for imposing a curfew following this week's historic flooding.
The lawsuit, originally filed on Friday, Aug. 19 on behalf of Uncle Earl's restaurant owner, Brian Ott, argues that Edwards and Gautreaux violated federal civil rights by ordering a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew on Aug. 16 for East Baton Rouge residents. But Friday afternoon, Ott told WBRZ News 2 that he would not continue with the suit. Instead, Metro Council member John Delgado, who owns the Draft House Bar and other Baton Rouge bars, would continue as the substituted plaintiff.
The original lawsuit argues that public safety and protection could be accomplished with "less restrictive means."
The suit also cites Mayor Kip Holden's public statements that the curfew was not necessary and politically motivated. In a live television interview with WBRZ, Holden said Gautreaux used a dirty, backdoor political deal with Edwards to take control and call for the curfew.
The suit argues that the curfew limits East Baton Rouge Parish residents "to earn a living and sustain their lives in this challenging time." It continued that businesses will continue to "suffer immediate and irreparable harm due to loss of goodwill, income and earned capacity."
Edwards authorized Sheriff Gautreaux to set the curfew after reports of looting in East Baton Rouge Parish surfaced and as way to clear roadways for first responders.
The Draft House Bar, located on 3rd Street, operates from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Delgado announced that he would run for the East Baton Rouge Mayor-President's office in January.