Petition to oust mayor sent to state

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 25, 2000

SICILY ISLAND, La. – A petition called for the recall of Sicily Island Mayor Anne Wycoff has been forwarded to the state level for action, a spokesperson for Gov. Mike Foster’s office confirmed Tuesday.

Wycoff would not comment on the petition Tuesday evening but said she would release a statement later in the week.

The petition &uot;was hand delivered to our office Friday, and we forwarded it to the Attorney General’s Office to make sure it met the statutory requirements,&uot; said Teri Ricks, an executive assistant with Foster’s office.

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But Catahoula Parish Registrar of Voters Sue Manning, who certified the petition and delivered it to Foster’s office, confirmed that the petition had more than enough signatures to be valid.

The petition had the signatures of 204 registered voters, and 194 of those signatures could be verified, more than the 182 names needed for the petition to be valid, Manning said.

Under law, the state has 15 calendar days from the day it received the petition to issue a proclamation setting a new mayoral election for the town, according to Ricks.

That would set the deadline to act on the petition at Nov. 4 — actually the day before, since Nov. 4 is a Saturday.

However, it is not yet known when the new election might be held, Ricks added.

Gwen James, chairman of the group that circulated the recall petition, said she did so mainly to protest what she felt was the unfair firing of former police officer Keith Berry almost two months ago.

&uot;I feel he was fired for no reason,&uot; James said Tuesday. &uot;It seemed like (Wycoff) had a ‘don’t care’ attitude about it.&uot;

Wycoff was elected in 1999 as mayor of Sicily Island, a Catahoula Parish village that has a population of just over 400 people according to Census estimates.