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District Court Upholds Bossier School Bond Proposal

Bossier District Court today upheld the $216,000,000 Bossier Parish school bond proposal. The proposal was being challenged in a lawsuit filed against the Bossier Parish School Board by attorney John Settle.

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Plaintiffs argued that the school board improperly promoted the proposal with public funds. Judge Jeff Cox handed down the four-and-a-half page ruling before noon today in favor of the school board, saying the plaintiffs had failed to show fraud or irregularities. The court said it will not overturn the April 21st election in which voters approved the bond.
Under law, an election can only be overturned if fraud or irregularities are proven that would have made the outcome of the election impossible to determine.
And the court ruled the plaintiffs failed to show such fraud or irregularities.
Plaintiffs argued that the school board violated state laws by “circulating false and misleading information; regarding raising tax rates to pay for these new propositions.”
Evidence offered in the suit included a column published on the Bossier Parish School board and all school websites urging readers to “pledge your support for Bossier Schools by not only voting ‘Yes” April 21, but by also helping us spread the word that this referendum is critical if the community wants to maintain the excellence our education system is known for.” Plaintiffs also attached a number of e-mails to all Bossier school principals requesting they post the column and a image on their individual school websites.
According to the judge’s ruling, “law requires that a person may bring an action contesting an election if he alleges that except for irregularities or fraud in the conduct of the election, the result would have been different.”
The court ruled the bond proposal strictly complied with Louisiana state law.
Settle told KEEL News he would appeal the judges ruling in the Second Circuit Court Appeals with a filing tomorrow morning. Stay tuned to 7-10 KEEL for updates on this continuing story.

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