City Council has identified four nominees to fill the District E seat left vacant after Jon Johnson pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal federal funds and quickly resigned from the seat. The interim District E representative will serve until District E voters choose a replacement for Johnson in the November 6 election (with a runoff, if necessary, on Dec. 8.)
The candidates, announced in the agenda for a special council meeting scheduled for tomorrow, are Sankofa Community Development Corp. founder and executive director Rashida Ferdinand, businessman Ronald Carrere, lawyer Michael Darnell (who served as an interim Councilman after Oliver Thomas pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and resigned in 2007), and Freddie Charbonnet.
Councilmembers will vote on the interim appointment tomorrow in a special meeting scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. . Whoever wins the seat will have to travel to Baton Rouge to accept a commission from the Secretary of State. It's possible that the appointee could be back in New Orleans in time to participate in tomorrow's regular council meeting, scheduled for 10 a.m., following the interim vote.
In other City Council news, Councilwoman at-Large Stacy Head is slated to take over the presidency from Council President Jackie Clarkson next month. Head's director of communications Danielle Viguerie says Clarkson is planning to call for a vote to hand over the presidency during City Council's August 9 regular meeting. Council was expected to vote to appoint Head to the position following her May swearing-in but instead reelected Clarkson with Head as vice president.
Viguerie says that Head wanted to polish up on parliamentary procedure before taking over as Council President and has been taking a class on Robert's Rules of Order.
"That's the reason for the delay," Viguerie says.