‘We’re not going to stop:’ Two appeals filed in support of St. George incorporation effort ahead of looming deadline

If you thought the fight for the City of St. Geroge was done, think again.
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 10:50 PM CST
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ST. GEORGE, La. (WAFB) - If you thought the fight for the City of St. George was done, think again.

Supporters will soon head back to court, this time to fight a ruling from earlier this year.

“We’ve been doing this for 10 years, we haven’t stopped yet, why would we stop today or tomorrow,” said Andrew Murrell, a spokesperson for the City of St. George.

Back in May, retired District Court Judge Martin Coady ruled that the negatives of creating the new city far outweigh the good.

“We’re still fighting like we have been for the past decade. As we’ve said all along, we’re not going to stop, we’re going to take this as far as we have to go to win,” said Murrell.

After winning the election back in 2019, organizers with the St. George incorporation movement, believe those results should be honored.

And ahead of a looming deadline next week, two separate appeals have already been filed in the First Circuit against the judge’s ruling.

One of those appeals is by the organizers and the defendants of the St. George incorporation suit, Chris Rials and Norman Browning.

The other appeal is by 238 St. George citizens, which sources say includes East Baton Rouge Metro Councilman Dwight Hudson.

Hudson could not be reached for comment all day Monday.

“To basically have their views. They’ve been left out of this process, and it’s a chance for them to have their say in court,” said Murrell.

“Well, I expected the defendants to appeal because they lost. I did not expect the second appeal by 230 something friends of Dwight Hudson to file a separate appeal,” said Mary Olive Pierson, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

Pierson says while folks have the right to appeal, she doesn’t believe anything will come from this.

“The review of the court of appeal is, whether the judge made a manifest error in interpreting the evidence in the case. And so obviously we do not think that he did,” said Pierson.

“The same thing happened with the City of Central, they lost at the trial court level, they won on appeal, and we expect to do the same thing,” said Murrell.

And while you may think that things could be settled here in a few months, think again.

“They’ve already told us they’ll appeal up to the Supreme Court. If we lose, we will absolutely appeal up to the Supreme Court. So, I expect that will be our next stop,” said Murrell.

“I’ve said that from jump street yes. They’re not going to give up, until they have to give up,” said Pierson.

Monday is the deadline for St. George supporters to file those appeals.

After that, the first circuit will set up a time for possible oral arguments in the Spring.

St. George organizers are hopeful a decision could be made by June of 2023.

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