Alderman demands apology from mayor

Alderman Bubba Bourque is demanding a public apology from Mayor Bob Morris for remarks made during a radio broadcast.

Otherwise, attorney Michael V. Matt says, his client will consider a defamation suit.

Morris received the demand in a certified letter on Wednesday.

He had no comment, the same response he had to a similar demand from Alderwoman Chawana Fontenot earlier this month.

Both officials believe Morris slandered them during an Aug. 4 “Coffee Talk” on KEUN Radio.

At one point during that broadcast the mayor referred to Bourque as Fontenot’s puppet.

He also described Fontenot as a surreal obstructionist.

It is not known if either remark is the basis of either council member’s demand.

Morris said previously he did not recall what he said and had no copy of his text.

The radio station manager said he had played over the disc.

Fontenot said she had a copy but would not provide it.

“While we acknowledge Mr. Bourque is a public official and you disagree with him on many matters, you do not have the unlimited and unprotected right to invade his interest in his reputation and good name,” Matt said in his letter.

“Your malicious comments, like those about Ms. Fontenot, were not part of the public debate on ideas, but instead were obviously intended to cast aspersion on him and to disparage, stigmatize, insult and humiliate him,” the attorney asserted.

He said should Morris fail to case “these personal and insulting remarks” and issue a public apology to Bourque, then his client may have no choice “but to take legal action to protect his good name.”

Matt wrote Morris that he is convinced that Bourque, as he is similarly convinced about Fontenot, would prevail on the necessary five points of proof under the law.

Those are:

A false and defamatory statement would made by the mayor concerning his client;

An unprivileged publication to a third party;

Fault on the mayor’s part;

Resulting injury;

Actual malice (because he is a public official.)

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