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NY Post
New York Post
2 Dec 2023

NextImg:Louisiana mayor charged after allegedly smacking phone out of woman’s hand during shouting match with residents: video

A Louisiana town council meeting ended in chaos when its mayor got into a shouting match with residents and allegedly smacked a phone out of the hands of a woman recording the scene.

Mayor Kesia Lemoine of Elton, a town of more than 1,000 people in Louisiana’s Jefferson Davis Parish, was charged with battery for the Monday outburst, KPLC reported.

Video shows Lemoine yelling and being held back by some of those who attended the meeting as she exits the room.

She then turns her attention to the woman filming, and tries to swat the phone out of her hands, prompting the woman to yell, “Keep your f—ing hands off of me!”

The mayor is held back by someone else, and led away as a police officer also steps in, according to the clip.

Lemoine defended her actions to local outlet KLFY, saying someone threatened her family. The alleged threat wasn’t captured on video.

After a town meeting adjourned, an argument involving Elton Mayor Kesia Lemoine continued into the hallway. via KPLC TV

“As a mother, I’m a protector and that really made me come out of character,” Lemoine said. “I do apologize for my actions because I am the mayor and they hold me to a different standard. But also I am human and I do have feelings.”

Tensions rose during the meeting when the topic of grants came up and someone asked about a grant writer who is believed to have been fired.

“We’re talking about the budget, you way off on something else,” Lemoine snapped, proceeding to get visibly more annoyed. “We are on the budget. You out of order. You say something else, we’re gonna escort you out.”

A town council meeting in Elton, Louisiana descended into chaos after budget talks and other contentious topics were brought up. via KPLC TV

Conversation then shifted to the topic of the mayor’s salary and accusations of that a secret meeting had been held, according to KPLC.

After the meeting adjourned, the arguing continued, leading to an altercation in the hallway.

Controversy with the mayor began earlier this year, when a petition to remove Lemoine from office was introduced after allegations of voter fraud. After Monday’s incident, a second recall petition was delivered to Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards’ office, according to reports.

Controversy with Mayor Kesia Lemoine began earlier this year with allegations of voter fraud. via KPLC TV

In June, Lemoine’s son was charged with assaulting the alleged whistleblower of the voting irregularities. He was sentenced to probation for the assault, which took place at an Elton carwash.

Lemoine was elected last year after serving eight years on the town council and was the mayor pro tempore for the year preceding the election.