A group calling itself the “Citizen’s Alliance of Jonesboro” is threatening a federal lawsuit against as yet unnamed defendants that will allege disenfranchisement of voting rights, it was revealed at a Noon press conference today at the W. Richard Zuber City Hall in Jonesboro.
Attorney for the group, Monroe’s Carol Powell-Lexing, told Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO) that a timetable for the action had not been finalized, nor what entity or persons might be named as defendants.
Local National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) representative Wendy Callahan said they would seek assistance from the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Said Callahan, “We are requesting the U. S. Attorney and the Attorney General to step in to assist in enforcing the voting rights of the people of Jonesboro.”
The lawsuit, it was said, will claim that recent actions by the state to install a fiscal administrator to oversee the town’s finances represent a usurpation of the duly elected mayor’s authority, and thereby represents a dilution of voter’s rights.
There was a bit of disagreement among some of the speakers, however. Janice and Herbert Simmons said that the town could ill afford to spend monies for a fiscal overseer, using terms like “broke” and “bankrupt” to describe the town’s money woes.
For his part, controversial mayor Leslie Thomson and his administrative assistant Rev. David Dill said the town was not in a financial bind.
As the town’s books have not been audited since mid-2007, it is unclear who is more accurate.
Herbert Simmons went on to say that in his opinion, all the controversy since Thompson took office in January, 2007 was a “political lynching,” and was designed to get Thompson out of office.
Then, as has been his custom at city council meetings, he proceeded to wonder why can’t the town come together and progress toward the future.