Justice of Peace elected unlawfully

Published 11:34 pm Saturday, September 9, 2017

I am writing this letter in total frustration with the Louisiana election process and politics in Concordia Parish. I ran for the office of Justice of the Peace for District 1 for the second time in November 2016. I had served in the position for two years in 2012-13. I lost the next election and was trying again in this special election.

For all of those future candidates for office, be warned, “qualifying” for office does not mean “qualifying for office.” One of my opponents did and does not live in the district, nor was he registered to vote in the district and yet was allowed to run. He could not vote for himself in the primary? Who knows what happened after that.

I found this information about my opponent after the primary, but before the runoff. I spoke with the registrar of voters, the clerk of court, the district attorney’s office, but with no assistance or help. I notified the state attorney general and secretary of state. No help.

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Now the law states, RS 13:2582, as a qualification to be Justice of the Peace, “A RESIDENT OF THE WARD AND DISTRICT FROM WHICH ELECTED, and other qualifications as provided by law.” “A person shall not have attained the age of seventy years by the date of qualifications to run for office.” Again, “qualifications” to be checked by who?

Now, without seeing a birth certificate or state I.D., how does someone know the age of an opponent? Who is to check? Qualifying appears to me just as an “act of signing up.” Where was the district attorney? I went to his office, but could not see him until January? …Wow, a busy man….I spoke with an assistant after many attempts to contact that office. I was given promising information that a hearing would be called by a local judge to get to the bottom of the district matter. I was satisfied for then, only to get a call later from her indicating there was nothing they could do for me. I’m sorry, but that was poor assistance.

I am a gentle man — not to get upset or mad very easily. But right is right and wrong is wrong. I don’t care who it is. I don’t know Mr. Elijah Banks, but he should step down or be removed from office immediately. He was elected unlawfully and took office illegally. If I am interpreting the law incorrectly, I apologize now. But please, show me where I am wrong. The way I see it now, any court judgments by Mr. Banks should be ruled null and void. If you have one, you may want to check with an attorney.

Thank you for letting me say my peace.
Benja R. Fussell

Concordia Parish resident