The Judge who presided over the case to lower the number of signatures needed to recall New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell has asked to recuse herself from the case.
Judge Jennifer Medley is an Orleans Parish Civil Court judge who had previously signed off on the case that allowed the number of signatures needed for a recall vote to be lowered by 5,000 signatures. Controversy surrounding the judge recently erupted when the Times-Picayune discovered that the judge had apparently signed the petition.
Judge Medley has now requested recusal from the case along with the appointment of an ad-hoc judge to preside over any future cases regarding active voters relative to the recall petition. It is also worth noting that this could also become irrelevant if the proper number of signatures is not reached.
Medley’s request for an ad-hoc judge comes after Mayor Cantrell’s legal team has launched a lawsuit regarding the lowering of signatures needed on the recall petition. The lawsuit is mainly focused on the settlement itself that was reached between Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin and the recall organizers, but makes heavy mention of Medley having signed the petition back in December.
Cantrell’s legal team has put forth the argument that Medley signing the petition and her failure to disclose such, amongst other variables, is grounds to consider the petition null and void.
Judge Medley maintains a position that she is still able to preside over the case in an unbiased manner but has made the decision to call for an ad-hoc judge out of caution.
“This Court is confident that any judicial duties performed in this proceeding have been and would be performed without bias or prejudice to any party. However, out of an abundance of caution, to ensure that any concerns that all parties may have are addressed, this Court will make a request for the Louisiana Supreme Court to appoint an ad hoc judge pursuant to La. CCP Article 155,” states court documents that have been obtained by Fox 8.
It still remains unclear if the petition will reach the signature threshold needed for the recall to continue. The request for an appointment of an ad-hoc judge could be considered moot if this threshold is not reached.