LCG: Daughters of Confederacy Have No Standing In Mouton Statue Case
Lafayette Consolidated Government wants the United Daughters of the Confederacy to pay attorneys' and court costs in connection with the Alfred Mouton Statue case.
LCG made that request in a memorandum filed in 15th Judicial District Court last month.
The memo says in May 1980, then-UDC chairwoman Betty Dugal admitted in group meeting minutes that her group knew it had no legal standing to challenge the city’s decision to move the Mouton Statue from the old city hall at the intersection of Lee Avenue and Jefferson Street to the current city hall at the corner of West University Avenue and St. Landry Street. According to those minutes, the group admitted to seeking a 10-day injunction to stop the move. That 10-day time frame covered the end of Mayor Kenny Bowen’s term in office and the start of Mayor Dud Lastrapes’s term.
In the meeting minutes, Dugal wrote that Lastrapes had given the group his word that he would reverse Bowen’s decision and keep the statue at the old city hall. The minutes go on to say the group would seek a permanent injunction against the move and that “the city would not oppose.”
The Alfred Mouton Statue has been at the center of controversy in recent years. The statue was erected in the 1920s at the intersection of Lee Avenue and Jefferson Street. The land on which the statue sits once belonged to Mouton's family. In 1980, a district judged granted the permanent injunction to prevent the city from ever moving the statue from the former Mouton property. In recent years, local civil rights activists have called for the statue to be removed because, they say, it honors a slave owner and Confederate general who fought to keep Blacks enslaved.
Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory, the Lafayette City Council, and Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel are among the public figures who have announced their support for removing the statue from its downtown location.
LCG's attorneys say the UDC should pay for its legal costs because it knew it had no standing to take the issue to court. A hearing on the matter is set for July 26.