Judge Reeves expected to rule on petition to disqualify Cowan as sheriff candidate

Published 9:22 am Tuesday, August 22, 2023

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VIDALIA, La. — Seventh Judicial District Court Judge John Reeves is expected to rule today on a petition to disqualify former deputy and long-time officer John Cowan as a candidate for Sheriff of Concordia Parish.

The basis of the disqualification is Cowan’s alleged failure to file income tax returns.

A petition was filed Thursday, Aug. 17, by William H. Rucker in his capacity as a registered voter of the parish. Rucker claims that

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Cowan’s notice of candidacy, as is required by Louisiana law, states that, “If I am a candidate for any office other than United States senator or representative in congress, that for each of the previous five tax years, I have filed my federal and state income tax returns, have filed for an extension of time for filing either my federal or state income tax return or both, or was not required to file either a federal or state income tax return or both.”

Rucker states a public records request had been made to the Louisiana Department of Revenue for information regarding any income tax returns filed by Cowan for the past five tax years.

A response to his public records request from the Department of Revenue attached to the court filing confirms that Cowan did file for tax years 2018 and 2022 but did not confirm filings for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 tax years.

According to court minutes from Monday, Aug. 21, Cowan presents tax documents for those years in open court. Reeves took the matter under advisement at 10:13 a.m. and noted that a judgment would be rendered within 24 hours of that time before the court was adjourned.

Cowan is the lone challenger to incumbent Concordia Parish Sheriff David Hedrick as of the Aug. 10 deadline to qualify for the Oct. 14 primary election.