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Trial for the city of St. George begins

3 months 1 week 2 days ago Monday, May 02 2022 May 2, 2022 May 02, 2022 7:32 PM May 02, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The long awaited trial for the city of St. George began Monday, delayed by COVID and a change up in the judge.

Now in the hands of judge Martin Coady, he'll have to decide whether allowing the city of St. George to become reality will adversely affect the city-parish.

Around 30 witnesses are set to take the stand in this trial, which is expected to wrap up by the end of this week, but only five testified Monday.

One of those witnesses, Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul, fielded questions about how he operates his budget and how a new city in East Baton Rouge Parish would affect it.

"I'm going to be respectful of the trial. Obviously that's why I'm here, and I have to testify today, so I'm going to be respectful of that. I think enough has been said as it relates to what impact it's going to have, so I'm going to respect the process and see how it goes," Paul said.

Also on the stand Monday, Chris Rials, one of the St. George organizers and the city-parish Director of Finance Linda Hunt.

Hunt testified that previous studies conducted by the city-parish determined that incorporating St. George would take about 20 percent of the current population away, reducing tax revenue by about $48 million a year.

Paul and Hunt said that that reduction would adversely affect the police department, which is already about $20 million dollars underfunded.

Hunt also said St. George would lead to a 35 percent budget cut for the city-parish, resulting in major job cuts across departments.

Things pick back up again tomorrow at 9:15

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