“We’re not concerned about the rehearing” | Here’s how St. George officials plan to move forward with incorporation

ST. GEORGE — The newly appointed mayor and police chief for the City of St. George, chosen by Governor Jeff Landry, held their inaugural news conference today to address inquiries regarding the early stages of incorporation.


Chief Todd Morris & Mayor Dustin Yates were appointed on May 14, 2024, serving as interim officials until St. George residents are able to vote on permanent candidates. At present, they have not been sworn in. Governor Jeff Landry is also tasked with appointing five council members for the City of St. George. It remains unclear when the governor will appoint the council members. Officials have indicated that the chief, mayor, and all council members will be sworn in simultaneously, although a specific date has yet to be determined. The same protocol will apply to any council members appointed if any of them are currently on the transition team.

Among the questions posed to St. George officials was one regarding the city-parish’s request for a rehearing by the Louisiana Supreme Court, which argued that the boundaries for St. George were not definitively established.

“That has absolutely no impact on us moving forward. The Supreme Court has already ruled that we are a city,” said St. George’s lawyer, Andrew Murrell. “That verdict was rendered in favor of St. George’s incorporation, so we’re not concerned that the same panel of judges review the same information they have already ruled on. We’re not concerned that they would come to a different conclusion because facts don’t lie and the law doesn’t lie, and they both supported the incorporation. So, no, we’re not concerned about the rehearing whatsoever, and that’s why we’re still moving forward.”

With 34 years of experience in law enforcement, Todd Morris, formerly a major with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, now assumes the interim role of St. George Police Chief. He clarified that, for the time being, there will be no separate police department for the City of St. George.

Instead, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office will continue to provide law enforcement services to the newly formed city, with Morris acting as a liaison between EBRSO and St. George. Although the possibility of a standalone police department for St. George remains open, Morris emphasized that such a development would likely be years away.

Officials concluded the news conference by stating that periodic briefings would become routine, with St. George officials committed to addressing any and all inquiries from the public.

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