Brown disqualified from mayoral race, plans appeal

Deidre Cruse, Government Reporter

Woes continued today (Friday, July 16) for White Castle Mayor Maurice “Big Moe” Brown.

District Judge Alvin Batiste Jr. disqualified Brown from his race for re-election as the mayor of the Iberville Parish town because of an outstanding fine he owes to the Louisiana Board of Ethics.

Brown's lawyer, Bruce Craft of Baton Rouge, told the POST/SOUTH he plans to appeal the decision to the First Circuit Court of Appeal next week. The First Circuit will have three days to act, he said.

Batiste sustained the Louisiana Board of Ethics' contention that, which the mayor signed his qualification papers with Clerk of Court J. G. “Bubbie” Dupont Jr., he certified that he owed no ethics fines.

On October 28, Brown signed a consent agreeing to pay the $3,000 fine after the board found he had violated state ethics law by performing $15,000 worth of security services for a White Castle convenience store at a time when the town was purchasing gas from the store.

An ethics board attorney testified that, as of Thursday, Brown had paid nothing toward the fine.

Brown's attorney attempted to show that the clerk's office had notarized Brown's qualification form improperly and, based on one First Circuit case, that the ethics board had a “history of selective prosecution.”

Ethics attorneys Michael Dupree and Aaron Brooks said the board has five similar cases around the state in this election cycle.

The court ruling continues the recent woes for Brown, who is also under federal indictment on corruption charges for violating the racketeering and fraud laws.