|This screen grab from a cell phone video
shows Langlinais with an injury allegedly
inflicted by Durel on Sunday evening.
City-Parish President Joey Durel could face a misdemeanor simple battery charge following Sunday evening fisticuffs with his political nemesis, Broussard Mayor Charlie Langlinais. The Ind has learned through sources close to Lafayette Consolidated Government that Durel, now in his third and final term in office, was cited but not arrested by sheriff’s deputies after allegedly striking Langlinais in the face at least two times.
Witnesses tell The Ind that the two men, long at odds over annexations in south Lafayette Parish, came to blows outside the clubhouse at Les Vieux Chenes Municipal Golf Course following the William Theriot Resurrection Round Robin, an annual Easter golf tournament put on by the popular councilman to raise money for Restless Leg Syndrome research. “Joey made a crack about Charlie dropping that [annexation] lawsuit, Charlie said something back to him — I didn’t catch what it was — and Joey just went nuts; he was on Charlie like a spider monkey,” says former state Sen. Mike Michot, a longtime friend of Durel. “Luckily when [Durel] reached for the 9 iron, Joel stepped in.” Joel is state Rep. Joel Robideaux, another friend of the city-parish president.
Neither man could be reached for comment for his side of the story. Durel is said to be on a self-imposed administrative leave. Spotted a few hours after the incident, Langlinais was sporting a visible black eye.
It’s unlikely Durel will actually face a charge stemming from the altercation, however, according to District Attorney Mike Harson. Reached late Sunday night, Harson said his office would be reluctant to take the case. “The guy’s the mayor — he can pretty much do what he wants,” Harson said, noting Durel’s well-known penchant for brawling. “That’s just Joey being Joey, you know? Short fuse. What are you gonna do?”
Dee Stanley, LCG’s chief operating officer, tells The Ind he isn’t surprised the animus between his boss and Langlinais descended into a physical altercation, despite the fact that on Thursday the two sides announced what appeared to be a truce. “I knew it would come to this. I mean, the dude is an idiot,” Stanley says. “And Charlie’s kind of an ass himself.”