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Former Recall Drive Organizer Files Federal and State Lawsuits Against Suspended City Marshal Brian Pope

LAFAYETTE – A former co-organizer of a recall drive last year against now-suspended Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope has filed federal and state lawsuits against the disgraced lawman.

You may recall the story of the plaintiff in the suits filed Monday.

Steven Wilkerson, who last year organized a petition with the goal of forcing a recall vote on Marshall Brian Pope was arrested on 20-year-old misdemeanor warrants by deputies with the marshal’s office. This on the very day recall organizers announced the petition drive had fallen a few thousand signatures short of the number needed to trigger a recall.

The warrants stemmed from four worthless checks he wrote back in 1997.

The arrest was on December 14th of 2017.

The District Attorney’s office later declined to pursue charges against Wilkerson in the case, deciding that the 20-year-old warrants had long ago expired.

The suit claims that Pope knew, or at the very least, should have known that the statutes of limitations had expired on these charges.

The Marshal’s office also mailed the notice of summons to Wilkerson’s old address. So not only did Wilkerson never know about the arraignment, but under Louisiana law, a summons for an arraignment had to be served via personal or domiciliary service.

In the suit, Wilkerson is seeking unspecified damages for violating his civil rights, malicious prosecution, wrongful arrest, emotional distress and a host of other grievances.

Pope’s legal troubles meantime continue to pile up.

He was indicted on 17 felony malfeasance charges late last week for allegedly diverting city-court fees into his personal bank account.

This development comes as Pope awaits sentencing after being convicted on four felony counts of perjury and malfeasance in early October, at which point he was suspended without pay.

No sentencing date has been set on the felony convictions.