SORRENTO, LA (WAFB) - Some Sorrento residents want their mayor gone. A pair of them filed a petition with the Louisiana Secretary of State on Friday morning to start the recall process.
Mike Lambert is the second town leader to face removal this week.
A petition to recall Sorrento councilman Randy Anny was filed on Wednesday.
The parking lot in front of Sorrento Town Hall was empty on Friday. The police department was closed and Mayor Mike Lambert was nowhere to be found.
Town residents, Brian Sisk and Donald Trabeaux, Jr. said his frequent absence is one reason they filed a petition to recall the Lambert.
"Once we get the right people in there then we can get the town back to where it was," Trabeaux said.
Mayor Lambert openly admits he built his campaign on getting rid of the Sorrento Police Department.
The force ceased operations on Tuesday after its insurer, Risk Management, dropped its coverage. While the company cited a claims history by the police department, Sisk believes the mayor let it happen.
"He should have reached out and helped them look for support instead of saying, here it's your baby you do it," Sisk said.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office is patrolling the streets of Sorrento through the end of the year, but Sisk and his recall co-chair said it is not the same as having a police force in town.
"I'd see them at one, two, three o'clock in the morning making rounds in my neighborhood. I hate for this to be trumped up too bad that everybody knows we don't have a local police department," Sisk said.
But it's not just the mayor's stance on law enforcement that has gotten under their skin. They said his recent outbursts at public meetings were shameful and embarrassed the town.
"All this name calling, arguing with everybody is not going to get Sorrento anywhere," Trabeaux said.
The men have 180 days to get at least 348 signatures before the state will approve a recall election.
"We've got to come together as a community to so we can the town can grow, and the only way we can do that is for everybody to get along. But it's got to start somewhere and we need a new mayor," Trabeaux said.
"Daddy might have to buy a new pair of tennis shoes before this is all over with from beating the streets," Sisk said.
Mayor Lambert said he has done nothing wrong, and that he stands by his decision to campaign against the police department.
He reports the Sorrento Police Department makes up 63 percent of the town's budget, and that it can't afford a police force.
He added, voters elected him knowing he wanted to dissolve the police department. For that reason, Lambert said, he is confident he will remain in office.