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|Recall petition for Dumas filed|
A petition for a recall election of Winnsboro Councilman John "Sonny" Dumas has been filed with the Louisiana Secretary of State.
Dumas learned of the effort to remove him from the Winnsboro City Council late last week when he received a copy of a letter sent to Monya Malone, chairman of the recall committee, from the Louisiana Board of Ethics.
The letter was sent to Malone to inform him that he might be required to file campaign finance disclosure reports. The Board of Ethics sent a copy of the letter to Dumas.
Malone said on Monday that he would not yet explain why the committee wants Dumas recalled. Dumas represents District 2 in Winnsboro.
"I am in the process of preparing a letter for the newspaper that will explain everything," Malone said. "If Dumas was an honest politician, he would own up to his faults."
Dumas said that some have suggested to him that Winnsboro Mayor Jackie Johnson is behind the effort to recall him, but he would like to give the mayor the benefit of the doubt until it can be proven otherwise.
"I have heard second hand that it's because I didn't support the Turkey Creek project and it's being said that it cost a number of jobs, but the feasibility study had nothing to do with jobs," said Dumas
Dumas was one of three councilmen who opposed a $1.8 million feasibility study for Johnson's Turkey Creek Development Project.
Councilmen Craig Gill and Richard Mahoney also opposed the study.
After months of wrangling over the measure, Johnson asked that a vote on the study be pulled from the meeting agenda at the council's regular meeting last month.
Johnson said on Monday that he knew nothing of the recall petition until Friday and is not involved in it.
"We have had our differences in the past, but in no way can I or will I support a recall of Mr. Dumas. As public servants, we often feel the backlash of anger from our constituents. This is a fact of life, but we must come together as a community and find common ground. I have been and continue to be willing to work with John Dumas at any time," Johnson wrote in a prepared statement.
Dumas, who is black, has consistently voted with the council's two white members, Craig Gill and Richard Mahoney, against measures supported by Johnson.
There is no known recall effort against Gill or Mahoney.
In Louisiana, if there are more 1,000 eligible voters in a municipality, a petition for a recall election signed by a third of eligible voters must be sent to the secretary of state.
After approval, usually standard procedure, the parish registrar of voters must certify the petition and a special election is called by the governor.
A special election in Winnsboro is expected to cost about $9,000, according to Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler.
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