LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Lafayette city-parish government is backing off enforcement of a ban on political signs earlier than three months before an election over questions about whether the restriction is an unconstitutional violation of free speech rights.

The Department of Planning, Zoning and Development sent letters last month to several candidates with signs out far ahead of this year's fall elections, advising them of the local sign law and asking them to comply.

Retired prosecutor Keith Stutes, who is running against incumbent District Attorney Mike Harson, pushed back, arguing a 90-day time limit on election signs is a strike at free speech.

Chief Development Officer Kevin Blanchard tells The Advocate city-parish government does not concede that point but will suspend enforcement of the 90-day sign limit pending legal research on the issue.