- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A state judge has dismissed a civil lawsuit involving two Lafayette Parish School Board candidates.

The Advertiser reports (https://bit.ly/1tFeaq5 ) Judge Marilyn Castle also ruled Wednesday that there was no basis to sanction attorney Dawn Morris, one of the plaintiffs in the case.

Former school administrator Nancy Cech had filed the suit in September, alleging that District 7 board member Mark Cockerham no longer lived in the district. Morris joined the suit about a week later as a co-plaintiff. Cockerham resigned earlier this month after the district attorney’s office told him he is outside of the current district boundaries. However, he and his attorney, Gary McGoffin, had sought to sanction Morris in court.

“I don’t think anything happened in this case that was sanctionable,” Castle said. “It was true that Mr. Cockerham had moved.”

In addition to the lawsuit, Cech and Morris had also filed a complaint with the district attorney’s office about the residency matter.

“It’s not like he (Cockerham) suffered any kind of damage because they approached it two ways instead of one,” Castle said. “I see no basis on which to sanction Ms. Morris.”

McGoffin alleged that Morris had ghostwritten the original suit, and that the case was for improper political purposes.

Morris’ attorney, Bill Goode, said the allegations in the suit were the same before and after Morris joined as a co-plaintiff, and that there was “no possible harm” if Morris did indeed prepare the original suit for Cech.

After the ruling, Goode said he thought Castle’s decision “is absolutely correct.”

McGoffin said he was pleased with Castle’s decision to dismiss the suit with prejudice.


Information from: The Advertiser, https://www.theadvertiser.com

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