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Thompson makes claim Monsour fails residency test to make alderman run

South Ward Alderman Willis Thompson has filed a petition claiming Alex Monsour failed to meet residency requirements to qualify as a candidate for South Ward Alderman.

Thompson said he filed the petition with documentation backing his claim Monday

City clerk Walter Osborne said the petition was sent to the Warren County Republican Executive Committee, which is responsible for qualifying candidates. He said, however, the final word whether Monsour qualifies for the election rests with the city’s Election Commission.

“I don’t believe he meets the residency requirements,” Thompson said. “I want them (the Republican committee) to look at the evidence and do some digging. All I’m asking for is a fair hearing.”

Executive committee member Penny Lawson said the committee is reviewing the petition and Thompson’s evidence, and records Monsour filed in his defense. She said the committee is expected to announce a decision no later than Friday.

Mousour said he has met the requirements.

“All the statutes are met,” he said. “The law says I have to be in the South Ward 30 days before the election. I was in the South Ward 30 days before the deadline for qualifying. I was there Jan. 29.”

According to Thompson’s petition, Monsour, who is the state representative for District 54, has listed several different addresses.

In January 2016, according to the petition, Monsour listed an address of 109 Plantation Drive, which is in the county, and voted at the Culkin precinct in the 2016 presidential election.

On Feb. 1, had his utilities transferred to 3550 Porters Chapel Road, which Thompson said is in House District 55, and changed his voter registration to that address.

March 3, the final day of qualifying, Monsour filed amended qualifying papers showing an address of 4223 I-20 Frontage Road, which is an apartment complex in the South Ward and in District 55, and said he had been living at that address “for a while.”

According to the petition, county tax records showed the home at 3550 Porters Chapel Road was owned by a woman who died in September 2016.

“I doubt there is a lease agreement (on the house),” Thompson writes in the petition. “I often patrol the area and the property appeared to be abandoned for some time. I also doubt Mr. Monsour ever resided at this address. … This property was not likely used as his residence, because it is in District 55. Mr. Monsour represents District 54.

“I doubt Mr. Monsour is able to prove his residence in the city for the required amount of time.”

Monsour said the house at 3550 Porters Chapel is his permanent address, adding it is in District 54.

“Right now, they are repairing the house because it had water damage, and I am currently living in the South Ward in the apartments (on South Frontage),” he said. “It’s just temporary until they get through. I had to relocate temporarily.

He said the house is now owned by Porter’s Chapel School, which bought the property, and he has a lease with an option to purchase the house. “I signed the lease in the attorney’s office that represents them on Jan. 29,” he said.

“I am in the South Ward; have been in the South Ward for a long time.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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