BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Supporters of the incorporate St. George movement took their efforts to court over signatures on a petition, but were denied by a Baton Rouge judge on a technicality.
Judge Wilson Fields ruled East Baton Rouge Parish Registrar of Voters Steve Raborn does not have to re-verify the signatures on the petition. Fields did not hear the merits of the case and tossed it out on a technicality issue saying St. George organizers did not have legal ground to file the suit in the first place.
"It didn't go too well. The judge decided, and it's unfortunate in my opinion, to throw this case out on a procedural objection rather than discuss the merits of the issue of how many signatures were in error," said Daniel Redmann, the attorney for St. George.
"The registrar's office did a conscious job in checking the petition, and I think the judge recognized that and that our job was over on June 13th when we issued a final determination," said incoming Registrar Steve Raborn.
St. George organizers filed an exception, which basically stated the group, "Residents against the Breakaway, Inc.," does not have a vested interest in the suit. Fields denied that, saying the group does have an interest.
"As a member of the community for my entire life, I absolutely have a vested interest to make sure that the city-parish stays whole," said M.E. Cormier with Residents against the Breakaway.
Last month, the St. George petition fell short by 71 signatures.
Organizers of the St. George petition filed a Writ of Mandamus against the registrar, claiming that the office erroneously rejected a significant number of signatures.