FROM THE TENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF
NATCHITOCHES, NO. C-91344 HONORABLE ERIC R. HARRINGTON,
M. Barker, Kathleen M. Allen, David M. Bordelon, Latoya
Jordan Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellee: State of Louisiana,
Board of Ethics
Jackson Jones, Jr. Counsel for Defendant/Appellant: Jackson
composed of Ulysses Gene Thibodeaux, Chief Judge, Phyllis M.
Keaty, and Van H. Kyzar, Judges.
PHYLLIS M. KEATY JUDGE.
plaintiff/appellee, the Louisiana Board of Ethics (BOE),
filed suit against the defendant/appellant, Jackson Jones,
Jr., objecting to his qualification as a candidate for the
office of Parish President, Natchitoches Parish. After a
hearing, the trial court rendered judgment ordering Mr. Jones
to withdraw from the election or otherwise be disqualified
(disqualifying judgment). That same day, Mr. Jones filed
motions for a continuance, for a new trial/rehearing, and to
vacate the disqualifying judgment, all of which the trial
court denied within hours of their filing. Eight days later,
Mr. Jones filed, inter alia, a motion to appeal the
disqualifying judgment, which the trial court denied as
untimely. Mr. Jones has now perfected this appeal from the
trial court's denial of his motion to appeal. Finding
that Mr. Jones failed to timely comply with the expedited
appellate procedures set forth in La.R.S. 18:1409(D), we
affirm the trial court ruling denying the motion to appeal as
only issue properly before this court is whether the trial
court erred in denying Mr. Jones's motion to appeal.
Although the parties have argued the merits of the
disqualifying judgment in brief, we note at the outset that
the disqualifying judgment is not before this court, and its
merits are not at issue in this appeal.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Jones qualified to run for the office of Natchitoches Parish
President by submitting a notice of candidacy during the
qualification period that ended on Thursday, August 8, 2019.
The BOE filed a petition on August 15, 2019, objecting to Mr.
Jones's candidacy on the grounds that he had an
outstanding late fee of $2, 500.00 and had "falsely
certified on his notice of candidacy that he does not owe any
outstanding fines, fees, or penalties pursuant to the Code of
Governmental Ethics as provided in R.S. 18:463(A)(2)."
La.R.S. 18:492(A)(6). This matter was set for hearing on
August 20, 2019.
the hearing, the BOE submitted both documentary and
testimonial evidence through which it sought to prove: (1)
Mr. Jones was required by La.R.S. 18:1495.7 to file a 2014
Tier 2 Candidate Personal Financial Disclosure Statement by
December 9, 2015, when he qualified for the March 5, 2016
election for the office of Mayor, City of Natchitoches; (2)
Mr. Jones failed to timely file his disclosure statement and
was assessed with a late fee of $2, 500.00 pursuant to
La.R.S. 42:1124.4 and La.R.S. 42:1157 of the Code of
Governmental Ethics; and (3) Mr. Jones had not filed his
disclosure statement or paid the late fee at the time he
executed his August 8, 2019 notice of candidacy, wherein he
swore he did "not owe any outstanding fines, fees, or
penalties pursuant to the Code of Governmental Ethics."
trial court found that the BOE made a prima facie showing
that Mr. Jones was not qualified to run for office due to his
false certification and that Mr. Jones failed to rebut the
BOE's showing. On August 20, 2019, at 9:47 a.m. the trial
court issued and signed a judgment ordering Mr. Jones to