District Attorney Warren Montgomery has filed suit in the 22nd Judicial District to compel full funding by the St. Tammany Parish Government of the District Attorney's 2022 budget in the amount of $8,762,826.51. Montgomery contends that St. Tammany Parish Government is mandated by law to fully fund his requested budget, that matter as “urgent”, that the facts in the case are undisputed, and that failure to receive the funding will make it impossible for the District Attorney's office to function.
Following the failure of St. Tammany Government to fully fund the District Attorney's 2022 budget in 2021, Montgomery asked St. Tammany voters on April 30, 2022 to approve a sales tax of less than 1/7 of a cent to make up for the “defunding by St. Tammany Parish Government”. That ballot item was defeated with 54% voting NO and 46% voting YES. Voter turnout was only 8.6%.
The action is in the form of a Petition for Writ of Mandamus and named as defendants are St. Tammany Parish President Michael B. Cooper and members of the St. Tammany Parish Council in their official capacities. The matter is apparently assigned to Division “H” Judge Alan A. Zaunbrecher.
The District Attorney's office receives funding from both St. Tammany and Washington parishes. However, Montgomery has said that Washington Parish passed a .33% cent sales tax in 2013 to fund the expenses of the District Attorney's Office.