Warino v. Lafleur
Tommy Anzelmo and Craig Canizaro successfully represented Westwego City Councilman Larry Warino in an election challenge brought on his behalf seeking the disqualification of a candidate for Chief of Police for the City of Westwego. The Court disqualified the defendant candidate, Roy Lafleur, on the grounds that he was not domiciled within the City of Westwego for the year preceding his qualification as a candidate for Chief of Police. The Court was presented with an array of documents that evidenced Lafleur habitually resided in Bridge City rather than Westwego. In response, Lafleur submitted a 2006 residential lease and voter ID card showing an address within the city. Plaintiff rebutted both documents by noting more recent documents contradicted the lease and voter ID card. The Court determined the plaintiff carried his burden of proof in objecting to Lafleur’s candidacy even in light of the liberal deference the Court must show to the candidate in a residency challenge over his qualifications to run for office. Thus, the Court took the rare step of disqualifying a candidate for elected office on the basis of a lack of domicile.
Case No. 723-920, 24th Judicial District Court for the Parish of Jefferson