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Neighbor still at odds with councilman living next door, posts signs in his front yard

1 year 4 weeks 21 hours ago Monday, April 24 2023 Apr 24, 2023 April 24, 2023 7:00 PM April 24, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - There's more development in a case involving a lawyer-legislator, an East Baton Rouge Metro councilman and that councilman's neighbor.

The neighbor, Eugene Michelli, posted large signs in his front yard to make sure everyone in his district knows what's been going on.

The signs say, "District six councilman: Cleve Dunn, Jr., flooded our home due to no permits and careless construction at his residence that's located at 14018 Jane Seymour Drive located in district eight."

Michelli lives next door to Dunn, who did some work at his house that's outside of his district. Dunn installed a pool cabana, as well as built a fence and a new driveway. The city found several issues with the work that's not permitted. Michelli sued over the matter and won.

"What else can we do? I put in a sign to let everyone know and I promise you everyone that comes by here they stop and read it," he said.

The ordeal has been dragging on. Michelli filed the lawsuit almost two years ago. Last month, a judge ordered Dunn to pay damages and remove the property in question.

"We just want this to end," he said.

Baton Rouge lawyer, state Rep. Edmond Jordan represents Dunn. Last month, both Dunn and Jordan missed court two times. Jordan filed a legislative continuance but it was denied. Now he's trying to change the law, filing HB 544. The bill essentially gives a lawyer-legislator an excuse to get out of court with no opposition.

"It's going to hurt people and it's hurting us right now," Michelli said.

A judgment in the Michelli-Dunn case has officially been signed by Judge Beau Higginbotham - but so has an appeal. For that appeal to move forward, Dunn has to furnish a bond for the $57,000 he was ordered to pay to Michelli in damages. Michelli fears this could drag on for a long time.

"He has used his political power and his lawyer's political power to keep this continuously going," said Michelli.

Now that a judgement has been signed, the city-parish is looking into what's next on their end. The judge had ruled that Dunn's pool cabana be torn down, but the appeal might change things.

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