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|Matheny's election decision angers police jurors|
Several Ouachita Parish Police Jurors voiced displeasure with Ward 6 Constable William "Bill" Matheny's decision to seek election for the position.
Matheny was appointed interim Ward 6 Constable in March after Mike Lee resigned as constable of Ward 6 when it was learned he was a convicted felon.
Matheny was to serve as Ward 6 Constable until the Oct. 17 election.
Parish attorney Jay Mitchell said the police jury asks people appointed to fill an unexpired term to agree not to run for that position when an election is held to fill the post.
Police juror Mack Calhoun read a prepared statement Monday during the police jury's regular meeting.
"It has been the custom of this police jury that people appointed to fill a seat temporarily, agree not to run when the election is held to fill the seat," Calhoun said. "This is a good practice that prevents the police jury from having too much influence in an election by having made one of the candidates an incumbent."
"I did explain to this gentleman the condition of this appointment beforehand, and there is no question in my mind that he understood and would not be running in the upcoming election," Calhoun said.
Matheny did not return a telephone call Tuesday seeking comment.
He was invited to attend Monday's police jury meeting, but he was not present.
Others who have qualified to run for Ward 6 Constable include Michael Bruce Colvin, Democrat, of Downsville; Bobby Joe Graves, Republican, of Calhoun; and Donald R. Price, Republican, of Calhoun.
Matheny also is a Republican who resides in Calhoun.
Police juror Charles Jackson offered a resolution to publicly state the police jury would not have appointed Matheny had he "expressed an intent to run for the seat at the time the appointment was made."
"I am very upset to notice he qualified last week," Jackson added.
Next month the police jury may consider adopting a written policy regarding interim appointments. In the past, Mitchell said the agreement was a "gentlemen's agreement" between the police jury and the person appointed to fill an unexpired term.