MINDEN, La. – A Minden councilman targeted for removal because of questions about his residency has resigned.
Herbert Taylor III on Thursday submitted a letter to Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin saying it was time for him to resign.
“Due to the excess amount of stress I and my family have endured since I became an elected city council member, it is time for me to resign,” Taylor wrote.
The resignation came less than a week after Webster Parish District Attorney Schuyler Marvin filed a lawsuit declaring Taylor’s District A seat vacant for failure to meet residency requirements.
The lawsuit is based on a complaint filed March 11 by Minden resident Larry Gipson, who said Taylor, a first-term councilman, no longer lives in his district.
The district attorney is mandated by state law to investigate residency complaints. Marvin concluded Taylor no longer met qualifications to hold the council seat.
In his lawsuit, Marvin said the investigation showed when Taylor provided an address of 130 Church Street when he qualified to run in the November 2018 election. But he and his wife on Aug. 6 purchased a home at 112 Hackett Drive, which is outside of the district.
Taylor was ordered to appear in court next week to answer the lawsuit. But that hearing was expected to be postponed because of the court shutdown related to the coronavirus emergency.
Taylor has been under fire since taking office. But the criticism picked up in more recent months as Taylor’s residency was questioned frequently at City Council meetings.
Then in November, Taylor became the center of a controversy involving two Minden police officers who were fired for allegedly making racial Facebook posts. Both were reinstated following a civil service board hearing where it was learned through an audio recording of Taylor where he admitted he had a role in the posts that cost the officers’ their jobs. One of the officers also testified that Taylor encouraged him to sue the city then give him a percentage of the payment.
Taylor and two other council members often have stalled issues up for discussion and vote at council meetings. They also walked out of a meeting in November when a vote to add items to the agenda didn’t go in their favor.