Harris: Son will not appear in court

Councilman said he will accept consequences

<p class="indent">DeRidder city councilman Mike Harris said Monday night that his son will not appear in court next month to testify against him.</p><p class="indent">Harris made the announcement during a regular session of the DeRidder City Council, and said he would accept whatever punishment was brought on to him for the absence of his son in court on Oct. 8.</p><p class="indent">“If I am arrested, then I will accept that. That is what I am willing to do to protect my son. No child should have to be put into such a position as this,” Harris told the <em>American Press</em>.</p><p class="indent">Harris’ 11 year-old son was subpoenaed last week at the request of District Attorney James Lestage to testify during next month’s hearing that will argue Harris’ eligibility to serve on the council. Lestage claims after an investigation was conducted by his office in August that Harris does not live within DeRidder city limits as is required by the DeRidder City Charter.</p><p class="indent">That investigation was required of Lestage’s office after receiving a written complaint from resident Ron Roberts, the former mayor of DeRidder. Roberts had also previously filed suit against Harris in May, but that suit was tossed after retired Natchitoches Parish Judge Eric Harrington ruled that Roberts did not follow the State Election Code, which requires all challenges to candidacy be filed within seven days of the end of qualifying in January.</p><p class="indent">Harris was elected to serve as city councilman at-large in an April 28 run-off election, and was sworn in on July 2.</p><p class="indent">A rally to show support for Harris is being planned for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 1. Supporters are expected to march from downtown DeRidder’s Washington Street to the steps of the Beauregard Parish courthouse.</p>””City Council Dispute

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