State rep candidate sued by challengers over campaign statements

Alejandro de los Rios May 24, 2010, 3:41am

Two civil suits were filed against Democratic Louisiana state representative candidate James Perry on consecutive days in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

Louis Charbonnet, a former candidate for the District 93 State representative seat also sought by Perry, filed the most recent suit May 21.

New Orleans attorney John Fuller filed the suit on behalf of Charbonnet.

The suit alleges that Perry published and distributed a mailer to District 93 residents with "malicious intent and reckless disregard for the truth." The mailer claimed that Charbonnet, a Democrat, was financially backed by the Louisiana Republican Party.

Louisiana State District 93 represents sections of the Garden District, Central Business District, French Quarter, Mid-City and the 7th Ward in New Orleans.

Charbonnet's petition for damages came a day after Helena Moreno, who is facing Perry in a run-off election for the District 93 seat on May 29, filed an injunction claiming Perry violated the Louisiana Election Code pursuant to LSA-R.S. 18:1463(c)(1). That code states that no candidate may distribute any material "containing any statement which he knows or should be reasonably expected to know makes a false statement."

New Orleans attorney Joseph Bruno is representing Moreno in the suit.

It claims that Perry made comments in which he said that Moreno was terminated from her employment at the New Orleans NBC affiliate WDSU-TV and that she "has not held steady work" since then. Moreno claims she retired "solely under he own will."

According to Louisiana Civil Procedure Article 3601, affected candidates of a violation of LSA-R.S. 18:1463(c)(1) "should be entitled to an injunction" and the offending party may be subject to a $500 fine or six months in prison or both.

Moreno held a press conference at her attorney's law office on May 21 stating that she was filing an amended petition for damages over flyers Perry sent out implying that Moreno has a drinking problem. Moreno said she has backed out of two scheduled debates with Perry.

Moreno's injuction was assigned to Judge Madeleine Landrieu.

Charbonnet's petition for damages was assigned to Judge Piper Griffin.

Orleans Parish Case 2010-05152
Orleans Parish Case 2010-05179

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