- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 21, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The Lafayette Parish School Board has until Nov. 6 to fill former school board member Mark Cockerham’s District 7 seat on the board.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/10hD4RL ) the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office mailed notification of Cockerham’s resignation, effective Oct. 16, to Lafayette Parish Schools Superintendent Pat Cooper in a letter dated Monday. Cockerham’s term ends Dec. 31.

Cockerham stepped down from the board earlier this month after an assistant district attorney advised him that he should vacate the seat because he moved out of District 7. Based on redistricting maps, Cockerham lives in District 7 and is qualified for the Nov. 4 election; however, based on maps still in effect until the end of the year, Cockerham lives in District 9. Cockerham publicly announced that he was stepping down on Oct. 7 but didn’t file official notice with the Secretary of State’s Office until Oct. 16.

Last month, a former Lafayette Parish schools administrator, Nancy Cech, and Cockerham’s challenger in the Nov. 4 District 7 race, Dawn Morris, filed a lawsuit in district court challenging Cockerham’s residency status for his current term. Both offered to drop their lawsuit, however, Cockerham refused and has requested that the court consider sanctions against the two women for filing the lawsuit. Cockerham alleges the women filed the lawsuit without cause because law provides that they make a complaint about residency status with the District Attorney’s Office.

Cockerham’s claim - as well as the women’s request for dismissal - was scheduled for a hearing Monday, though the proceeding was rescheduled for Oct. 29.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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