Jefferson Parish School Board District 5 candidate Simeon Dickerson is suing incumbent Cedric Floyd over what Dickerson says are "defamatory" statements published in mailers sent to voters. The mailers say Dickerson has been arrested for a number of crimes, including car theft and battery of a police officer. They also call into question Dickerson's teaching credentials. Dickerson says those statements are "false and misleading."
"These statements were made by agents of Cedric Floyd in order to gain an advantage in the general election by tarnishing the reputation of Mr. Dickerson in direct violation" of state laws, Dickerson's petition reads.
Dickerson says court records show he was never arrested on the charges the mailers detail. He says the charges against him were dropped when a judge determined the suspect in those crimes had used Dickerson’s identity to evade conviction.
"This would be clear to anyone who reviewed this record as Defendants [Floyd and his attorney] must have in order to obtain a copy," the petition reads.
The petition also accuses Floyd of intentionally misleading voters to believe Dickerson falsified his teacher status. The mailers say Dickerson is "not certified to teach according to the Louisiana Department of Education." Dickerson, a teacher at Moton Charter School in New Orleans, confirmed that he does not have his teacher's certification. But certification is not required for teachers in Louisiana charter schools.
Dickerson is asking the court to issue a temporary restraining order against Floyd forcing him to stop sending out the allegedly defamatory mailers.
Early voting is already underway in the runoff, and election day is Dec. 8.
Floyd did not respond to our request for comment.