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Mayor says attorney knew son of councilman was on jury

Tyler Johnson - WRJW News

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Picayune City Council, Mayor Jim Luke addressed the ruling of the court case involving City of Picayune vs Landry Lewis Germany Architects, P.A. (LLG) concerning design work performed by LLG for city hall. Recently, a court rendered a judgement in favor of LLG stating the city owes LLG $210,000 for negligence during a previous trial.

Mayor Luke stated that he and councilman Larry Breland both informed the selection committee that councilman Breland’s son Lorenzo Breland was selected to be on the jury.

“The statement that councilman Breland and I failed to inform the selection committee that Lorenzo was elected to the jury is simply not true,” Luke told the audience.

Luke also stated that on numerous occasions multiple people, including some council members, informed their attorney Edward Hatten, Jr. of Dukes, Dukes, Keating & Faneca, that not only was Lorenzo Breland in the jury pool, but that he was also elected to serve on the jury.

Luke said Hatten also testified in court that Luke informed the committee about Lorenzo and stood by the statement when questioned by the council as well.

City Attorney Nathan Farmer gave a summary of events to the audience at the request of Mayor Luke to give a record of events and how the council plans to move forward from this point.

The council is considering appealing the ruling to the Mississippi Supreme Court and has assured the public that the taxpayers will not be held responsible, as the city plans to file a claim of indemnification from the former trial councilor and his firm for the liability from Hatten’s actions.


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