Qualifications called into question for embattled Senator Troy Brown
GEISMAR - Tonight, there's yet another hiccup for a state senator accused of punching a woman in the face over the weekend. Serious questions are being raised about whether he was even qualified to run in the senate district that he represents.
Troy Brown's neighbors say he lives in Geismar, which is in Senate District 18. The problem is Brown represents Senate District 2, and the state constitution requires elected officials to live in the the districts they represent.
Some constituents in District 2 call this another embarrassment, and said they're having problems trusting the senator. Cherie Fernandez has called District 2 home for a good portion of his life. He's never been as frustrated as he is now with an elected official.
"I think it's time we move on and get a qualified candidate," Fernandez said.
The qualifications of Troy Brown are called into question over a police report. Witnesses told police, Brown got into a yelling match with a woman at the Hyatt hotel over the weekend. That's when Brown's longtime girlfriend says she got punched in the eye by the married lawmaker. When he was taken into custody, he told police he lives at Francine Circle South. That address is now at the center of controversy.
Senator Troy Brown represents senate district two. In some paperwork he filed with the state, he claims this residence in Geismar as his residence. Once again, it's not in District 2.
"If he has filed a false affidavit in the public records with a wrong domicile, that could lead to felony charges," Loyola Law Professor Dane Ciolino said.
Tonight, Brown's ethics are being called into question by his own constituents and people who ran against him like Chris Delpit.
"If he doesn't live in this district he shouldn't run in this district since this surfaced, something should be done," Delpit said.
When Brown qualified to run for state senator, he listed a Napoleonville address on his qualifying form. That's a duplex. But his neighbors in Geismar say he lives at the mansion where his car is currently parked. He even has used the Geismar address in his financial disclosure reports in 2010, 2011...and 2013. Tonight the Secretary of State says, it's too late to contest this issue with them since the election results have already been certified.
But a citizen in the community can file a lawsuit to challenge Brown's residency. Constituents in district two are worried that Brown's alleged antics will send the wrong message to young people.
"Every politician needs to be coachable and approachable, and he lacks those characteristics," Fernandez said.
Brown claims no homestead exemption on either property. That's what makes the situation murky about his actual domicile. Brown could face sanctions from his own colleagues. Calls to Brown were not returned.