LIVINGSTON -- Livingston Parish voters will have one less race to decide when they go to the polls on Oct. 12.
Sheriff Jason Ard will now run unopposed as he seeks reelection after Judge Brenda Ricks’ ruling disqualified his lone opponent.
Walter “Beau 22” Wesley sought to unseat Ard this fall. However, a lawsuit filed against his candidacy alleged that he had not filed federal or state income taxes for at least the previous five years. That is the period of time for which a candidate is required to affirm he has filed tax returns under Louisiana state law.
A public records request for Wesley’s state filings was made on Aug. 12 with the Louisiana Department of Revenue. In a letter responding to the request that was entered into evidence in the lawsuit, Custodian of Records and Director of the Policy Services Division Vanessa LaFleur wrote, “The Department cannot confirm the filing of tax returns for tax years 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.”
Based on that letter, Ricks determined on Aug. 15 that Wesley “did not qualify under the requirements of Louisiana law” and that his name “be stricken from the ballot for the primary election.”
In a Facebook post after the decision was handed down, Ard said he was “grateful” and “humbled” to serve another term.
“I will continue to work with our Livingston Parish leaders - leaders you place in office - to continue to make Livingston Parish the place we’re all proud to call home,” the post went on to say.