NEW ORLEANS -- Another shot was fired Monday in the ongoing feud between Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the clerk of criminal court, Arthur Morrell.
This time it has shut down an important elections office.
“I was stunned. I was surprised,” said Betsy Stoner, the director of the Orleans Parish Board of Elections Supervisors.
Stoner arrived at her office Monday at City Hall to find her door bolted and the locks changed.
Stoner said the eviction comes at a critical time as she gears up for the Oct. 19 special election.
"We're actually now beginning the process for the Oct. 19 election, and if I'm unable to get into the office, I'm unable to reach out to our commissioners and poll workers who stand at the polls on election day,” she said.
The city first notified Morrell about two months ago saying they needed the office space.
According to a series of letters, the city offered to help move Stoner's records and equipment.
Morrell responded that Stoner does not work for his office, but for the Board of Elections Supervisors.
“I don’t think the mayor’s office realizes that the board is not part of the Clerk of Criminal District Court’s Office. It is a parish board required by state law. If the mayor’s office had been aware of this fact, I don’t think any of this would have transpired," wrote Jay Batt, president of the Board of Supervisors of Elections.
Leading up to this dispute, Morrell filed two lawsuits claiming the city illegally cut his budget.