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Group takes steps to recall Port Allen councilman

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PORT ALLEN - Port Allen City Councilman RJ Loupe is not happy after a recall was filed against him on Tuesday.
"I wasn't involved, but now I'm so upset, so disturbed with this, I will get involved," Loupe said.

Loupe says he thinks he's an easy target because he's a member at large.

"Obviously it's not going to do them any good to go after any of the district council members, because remember you've got two dominate white and two dominate black so they're not going to go after them," he explained. "This is my feeling and my opinion and I can't help it, (it's) retaliation."

About 24 hours after Port Allen residents made history submitting signatures for the first recall petition in West Baton Rouge Parish, another group took steps to recall city councilman RJ Loupe.

The recall effort is being led by Chairman Larry Profit and Co-Chair Gizele Thompson. When asked today about why they wanted Loupe out of office, they wouldn't elaborate.

"Not at this time," Larry Profit said.

RJ Loupe is a familiar face in Port Allen. He served as interim mayor after Derek Lewis resigned during a federal bribery sting several years ago. Lewis reported to federal prison last year.

Registrar of Voters Stacy Ryan said just like the Mayor's petition, this group will have their work cut out for them.

"He would need to follow the same criteria the mayor would," Ryan said.

News 2 requested an on-camera interview with Loupe about this recall effort on Tuesday, but he declined. He did say he will continue working for the city and the people to move forward. Loupe said he would address the petition at Wednesday night's council meeting.

On Tuesday, Mayor Deedy Slaughter said the following in response to the recall petition.

"There are some counteracts in place, but I can't give it at this time," Slaughter said.

News 2 asked the mayor if this latest petition against Loupe was one of those measures.

"Why would I be in support of it?" Slaughter said. "You have to go to the citizens and ask that question... No further comments."

News 2 also asked the mayor if she knew the people responsible for the petition against Loupe.

"No comment," Slaughter said.

Councilman Hugh Riviere said he can read between the lines.

"The timing of it is suspicious," Riviere said.  "I can't read their minds. I don't know what they are thinking, but it does seem like retaliation."

Councilman Garry Hubble called it "childish retaliation." Councilwoman Ray Helen Lawrence declined to comment, and Councilman Brandon Brown could not be reached for comment.

In order to successfully recall Loupe, organizers will need 33.3 percent of the signatures from registered voters inside the City of Port Allen. Loupe is the at-large councilman, so he falls under the same criteria for the number of voters needing to sign the petition as the mayor's recall effort. That means there need to be nearly 1,300 certified signatures for there to be a successful recall.

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