Hearing in Redus lawsuit set for Oct. 3


A hearing has been set in Pine Bluff Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr.’s lawsuit asking a judge to halt the Nov. 6 mayoral election.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Jay Moody will hear arguments in the case at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, in the courtroom of Jefferson County Circuit Judge Rob Wyatt Jr.

Wyatt was originally assigned the case but recused himself, as did the other judges in Jefferson County, and Moody was appointed by the Arkansas Supreme Court as a special judge to hear the case.

Redus filed the lawsuit arguing that state law provides that cities with populations of less than 50,000 should conduct mayoral elections in the off-years of presidential elections, which would be 2014.

The 2010 census indicated the population of Pine Bluff was below 50,000.

Redus, who was first elected in 2004 and reelected in 2008, is completing his second term in office and if Moody agrees to halt the election, the mayor would serve a six-year term through 2014.

Mayoral candidate Debe Hollingsworth has been given permission to intervene in the lawsuit, saying she has a recognized interest in the case because she is a registered voter and a candidate for the office and her interests would be impaired by the outcome of the suit.

Earlier this week, Moody approved a motion filed by Redus’ attorney Gene McKissic to allow the remaining seven mayoral candidates to be parties in the suit because their interests would also be impaired by the outcome.

Moody signed an order joining Clarence Davis, Thelma Walker, Tim Wisenhunt, Steven Mays, John James Jr., Peter Daniels Jr. and Kent Broughton to the suit as “necessary and indispensable parties.”

Also earlier this week, Gov. Mike Beebe and Secretary of State Mark Martin, who were initially named in the suit, were removed from the list of parties.

The same law would apply to the positions of city treasurer and city clerk where Loretta Whitfield is running unopposed for another four-year term. Candidates for city treasurer are Greg Gustek, Janice Roberts and Lloyd Franklin Sr., all seeking to replace current city treasurer Chris Castoro.

There have been no legal filings dealing with those two offices.