ALEXANDRIA – A candidate in a runoff race for district attorney of Rapides Parish has filed a lawsuit seeking injunctive relief and a temporary restraining order against a man he claims repeatedly made defamatory remarks about him on a local radio station broadcast.
Jesse P. Terrell Jr. filed suit against Robert Washington in the 9th Judicial District Court on Nov. 21.
Terrell, a Democrat and former Pineville City Court judge, is facing off against Republican Chris Hazel in the Dec. 6 runoff election to replace current Rapides Parish District Attorney James Downs, who is retiring.
Terrell contends that Washington made false comments about him that were aired on local radio stations and paid for by Washington, but did not include a declaimer indicating whether the message was authorized by a candidate or candidate committee. The plaintiff asserts that in the radio broadcasts the defendant accused he and a fellow judge of fining him for littering on a property adjacent to land owned by his family. Terrell maintains that as a judge in a civil lawsuit he did not fine Washington’s family, but ruled against him and in favor of the adjacent landowners for the costs of cleanup caused by the dumping of trash on their property.
In addition, the plaintiff alleges that Washington made statements saying that Terrell’s former law partner had been in the Ku Klux Klan and that he had applauded an officer accused of police brutality, both statements of which Terrell says are false and irresponsible and made to discredit him as a candidate for Rapides Parish District Attorney. In fact, Terrell alleges that Washington made the direct statement that voters should not vote for Terrell.
The is not the first time Washington has been alleged to have made misrepresentations to the media in connection with the case handled by Terell. In an Aug. 1 retraction the Louisiana Voice explained in an in-depth editorial that it had been deceived by Washington who provided them legal documents presenting a story that was later retracted concerning the littering dispute with Pineville attorney Wilbert Saucier Jr. Washington has also gone as far as to make a Youtube video about the ordeal.
The defendant is accused of defamation and violating state law.
Terrell is seeking a temporary restraining order and injunctive relief in hearing scheduled for Dec. 2 on the matter.
Terrell is represented by attorney W. Jay Luneau of Alexandria.
The case has been assigned to Division C Judge Mary L. Doggett.
Case no. 251,561.