Peralta's ex-wife temporarily drops contempt of court charge

CHALMETTE, LA (WVUE) - The ex-wife of St. Bernard Parish President Dave Peralta has temporarily dropped a charge alleging that he violated a restraining order.

"Now my client has an experienced attorney. Let's see what happens now," said Stephen Rue, the attorney for Sharon Schaefer.

Rue took over the case Monday morning, and he said he plans to start fresh on the civil contempt of court case that alleges Peralta violated his restraining order by emailing Schaefer.

"If I want to subpoena people to court, if I want to take Mr. Peralta or other people's depositions, there are some council people involved which have pertinent information involved with regards to this motion for contempt," said Rue.

The St. Bernard clerk of court confirmed they were still trying to serve related subpoenas to St. Bernard Councilman-at-Large Guy McInnis and Parish Purchasing Manager Chad O'Neil. Once all the information is gathered, Rue said he will re-file the contempt of court motion as soon as possible.

"In the very near future, by the way. So stay tuned guys, stay tuned," said Rue.

However, Rue said his timeline also depends on another court case between the St. Bernard Parish government and the Louisiana Department of Justice.

FOX 8 obtained documents outlining why the parish wants the state to return computers it seized.

"They're trying to stop the show from going on, because they have their own interest in that material," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joseph Raspanti.

The parish claims the computers seized from Peralta's office last week contain privileged client-attorney information that should not be made public. It says the computer documents are tied not just to Schaefer's criminal sexual battery allegation against Peralta, but to other cases - including those related to the BP oil spill.

"It's up to the judge to decide who gets to look at what, and you have overlapping interests here: criminal and civil, parish interests versus this couple having a fight," said Raspanti.

Peralta and his attorney left the courtroom Monday morning without making a comment about either case. Inside the courtroom, Peralta's attorney fought to continue with the current contempt of court case. The attorney claimed Schaefer only filed the for public attention, and that the motion was frivolous.

Schaeffer's attorney strongly denied the allegation.

"I'm smiling because we fully intend to file again at the appropriate time," Rue said. "Again I just enrolled as counsel this morning, and I think if the viewers are quite patient, before long, they'll discover exactly how not frivolous my client's allegations are."

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