Lafayette DA Drops Suit Over Budget Dispute; Joel Robideaux & Jay Castille Respond (Audio)
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Fifteenth Judicial District Attorney Keith Stutes has dropped a lawsuit he filed to block Lafayette city-parish government from cutting more than $500,000 from his budget.
Local news outlets report the dismissal came as a judge was preparing to hear arguments on whether to void the City-Parish Council's vote last week to approve the cut.
Stutes and city-parish government have locked horns for several months over what District Attorney's Office expenses local government is legally mandated to pay, and the dismissal on Tuesday will not likely resolve the core issues.
The council's vote last week was to cut the current year's budget for the District Attorney's Office.
Council Chairman Jay Castille said he and others will meet with the District Attorney's Office to hash out budget concerns going forward. (Listen to his reaction)
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Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux responded to the news saying, “This is the time to focus on the financial difficulties of the Parish General Fund. Now that the DA’s lawsuit against Lafayette Consolidated Government has been voluntarily dismissed, I look forward to resolving the serious budgetary issues surrounding the upcoming 2016-2017 Parish Budget. Funding the District Attorney’s office is only one of Parish Government’s mandated components. There are also significant un-mandated services to be considered including drainage, roads, bridges and fire protection. I am moving ahead to bring every stakeholder to the table in an effort to craft a solution that works for all of Lafayette Parish.”