A hearing will be held on Oct. 8 at the Beauregard Parish Courthouse at 9 a.m. in DeRidder to determine if Councilman Michael D. Harris will have to vacate his position on the DeRidder City Council.
Judge Eric Harrington, of Natchitoches, will oversee the proceedings.
Harrington is familiar with many of the circumstances regarding this case having previously presided over The City of DeRidder v. Michael D. Harris back in May.
Harrington ruled in favor of Harris in that case, finding that the city did not comply with the state election code’s requirements for challenging a candidate’s eligibility.
This current suit against Harris stems from a complaint filed by former Mayor Ron Roberts. District Attorney James Lestage performed his legal obligation to investigate the complaint, publish the results of the investigation, and file suit.
The situation at the heart of the current lawsuit, and the previous civil trial, is the issue of Harris’ legal domicile.
Harris claims that his legal domicile is at 806 Lake Court Drive where he has voted and resided for many years.
However, Harris also owns a home on Harmony Trail Road, which is outside of city limits.
The District Attorney’s Office has stated that their investigation proves that Harris maintains legal domicile at that address, and not at the Lake Court Drive address.
Harris has stated numerous times that he believes that this entire issue is based on a personal vendetta held against him by Roberts.
Harris and his attorney R. Michael McHale are confident that they will succeed and that Harris will remain on the DeRidder City Council.
“They are going to have a lot of witnesses, but we are going to have a lot of our own as well,” said McHale. “We are confident that that the judge will rule in our favor.”
Michael Harris has stated that he is ready for this legal battle to finally be over with.
“I am ready to move on and continue serving my city.” Harris said.
Ron Roberts could not be reached for comment.
For more information on the suit filed against Harris citizens can log on to www.beauregarddailynews.net and search for the “Written Opinion with Reasons” regarding this case.
That document was posted in the records section of the paper and still remains on the website. It contains the results of the District Attorney’s investigation into the original complaint.