Muscle in 3132 Venue Decision – How Heavy is G?

by Elliott Stonecipher
Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover

If attorneys representing Mayor Cedric Glover, the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (NLCOG) and Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LDOTD) succeed, the court action into the termination of the Hwy. 3132 Extension to the Port of Caddo-Bossier will be moved away from Shreveport to the 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge.

Where can we go eat?

Glover’s attorney Ron Lattier, NLCOG’s attorney Jerry Jones, and LDOTD’s attorney, Jimmy Faircloth, have filed a long list of lawsuit “Exceptions,” including the request for change of “venue,” the location of any court proceedings. The subject WKHS and Coalition lawsuit asks the Caddo Parish court in Shreveport to stop any further development in a possible new route for the 3132 Extension until so-called “feasibility” studies are completed according to the requirements of all state and federal law.

Documents obtained over the past 18 months by the Coalition – and presented for public review – show evidence that the April 7, 2011 termination of the Extension by Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover, NLCOG, the city engineering department and Esplanade developer Tim Larkin was not legal.  The Coalition has presented additional evidence which questions the legitimacy of key aspects of  the resulting “feasibility” studies.

The defendants’ list of legal artifices against any public challenge to the Extension’s termination includes:

… a “declinatory exception (of) lack of jurisdiction,”
… a “dilatory exception of prematurity,”
… another “dilatory exception of unauthorized use of summary proceedings,”
… yet another “dilatory exception of lack of procedural capacity,”
… a “peremptory exception of no cause of action,” another “peremptory exception of no right of action,” and
… the “declinatory exception of improper venue.”

As we previously reported, staff attorneys for LDOTD have been pushed aside in defense of the Coalition’s lawsuit by Faircloth, an insider in the political and legal teams of Governor Bobby Jindal.  Faircloth’s office and LDOTD’s central office are in Baton Rouge.  The attempt to remove the litigation to “their” court ignores the fact that the Extension is a highway in Shreveport, as are the government agencies and other entities most directly responsible for its termination:  the Shreveport Mayor’s office, the Shreveport City Engineering office, NLCOG and the Esplanade development of Tim Larkin.

Most importantly, and most to the point of what Glover, NLCOG and LDOTD are attempting, Shreveport voters – who put their own money into the Extension by a nearly 2-to-1 bond issue vote in 1996 – will not likely travel to Baton Rouge to observe related court action.  On their behalf, the Coalition will fight any such attempts to further hide the facts and truth of the Extension’s termination from the people of Shreveport.

What is intended to be a lawsuit ONLY concerning the documentary evidence at issue is now being turned in an abusive and expensive-to-the-taxpayers battle, all to the intended benefit of – still and again – a handful of public officials and their friends.

Elliott Stonecipher

Elliott Stonecipher’s reports, essays and commentaries are written strictly in the public interest.  No compensation of any kind has been solicited or accepted for this work.  This work is protected, and no other use of it is permitted without the written consent of Mr. Stonecipher.