BALL, La. (KALB) - News Channel 5 has learned that former Ball Mayor Neil Kavanagh has passed away. He was 64. We were told that he died on Thursday night in Woodworth.
Kavanagh served as mayor from 2015-2019, after losing reelection last year to Roy Hebron.
Back in December, Kavanagh challenged whether the Mayor-elect Roy Hebron, who is a convicted felon, could hold office after a recently passed state constitutional amendment that prohibits felons from holding office for five years after the completion of their sentence.
Judge Monique Rauls ruled that Hebron, who was elected in November, is not legally allowed to take office. In April 2019, former alderwoman Willie Bishop was voted in as the current interim mayor.
We spoke with a couple of Louisiana legislators who knew Kavanagh and spoke on their time with him.
"First of all I think we're just kind of shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Mayor Neil Kavanagh," said State Representative for District 27 Mike Johnson. "In later years I got to know him better because I served as a magistrate for the town of Ball and had served some for the previous mayor, and he kept me on for that. It was quite an honor...just a nice guy."
We spoke with Senator Bill Cassidy, who says he was best friends with Kavanagh's younger brother growing up and spent most days at their house, also adding that he was an incredibly talented man.
"I think that Neil had a real desire to help other people, which is why he ran for mayor, and he would do it in other ways that did not involve political office," said Sen. Cassidy. "So, I think that as God receives him in heaven, we can celebrate a life that has been well-lived."
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