3 evicted from Rayne City Council meeting
Three people were escorted by police from Monday’s Rayne City Council meeting.
Officers led Theresa Richard and her ex-husband Mitchell Ross Richard, along with Dowell D. “D.D.” Folds from the June meeting after Richard accused Folds of threatening her.
The council was hearing an appeal of a decision last month to reclassify two lots from a commercial zoning to residential. The action barred the owner of those lots from obtaining a liquor license required to open a bar there.
Theresa Richard, a self-described “government accountability activist,” was video-recording the meeting with her phone from the front row of the gallery.
Folds also was recording the meeting from the second row of the audience, directly behind and two seats over from Richard.
Folds’ video was streamed live on Facebook and has been posted there.
About an hour and 15 minutes into the meeting, Folds made a comment to Richard, who turned her camera toward Folds. She then leaned over and whispered something into her ex-husband’s ear.
He then turned toward Folds and told him, “You need to watch your language in front of her,” and accused Folds of “calling her names.”
That’s when Richard stood up and announced, “He’s threatening me ... and calling me names” and “He should be arrested.”
Folds can be heard denying threatening her, saying, “I just told her to turn the camera around.”
Richard exclaimed, “You need some security in this building,” at which point Mayor Charles “Chuck” Robichaux replied, “We have security,” then instructed the two police officers present to escort all three out of city hall.
Chief Carroll J. Stelly joined officers to escort everyone out of the building and off the grounds.
Richard continued protesting and told officers she wanted to make a statement concerning the alleged threats by Folds.
No charges were filed in connection with the incident.
Concerning Nathan Jauberty’s appeal of the council’s rezoning action, the matter was tabled pending the acquisition of public records.
Jaubert’s attorney, Marcus Allen, claimed that Sylvia Mouton, in making the original request to have the property reverted to it’s R-3 classification from C-2, failed to properly follow city ordinance.
Quoting the ordinance, Allen said that Mouton’s petition for rezoning along with a $50 fee should have been filed five days prior to the Zoning and Planning Commission meeting or before that.
He presented a receipt showing that the fee had been paid on April 3, however, Mouton’s statement to the commission was dated April 24, the day of the actual meeting.
Mark Daigle, city inspector, explained that Mouton had, indeed, filed the requisite petition the same day she had paid the fee. However, he continued, he had been out of state on vacation at the time of the public records request and Mouton’s statement, not her original petition, had been submitted by mistake.
On Robichaux’s recommendation, the council tabled Jaubert’s appeal until the proper documentation was made available.
Daigle said Tuesday morning that the receipt and original notice were available.
No timeline was given on the council’s reconsideration of the rezoning.
Action on other items on Monday night’s agenda will be reported in next week’s Acadian-Tribune.