The Town of Jonesboro’s controversial mayor Leslie Thompson said Tuesday that he shouldn’t have to refund expense money that he and some aldermen used to attend the Louisiana Municipal Association (LMA) annual meeting earlier this month, despite the town’s overseer – Fiscal Administrator Bill Ryder – telling them that any funds used for that purpose would not be reimbursed.
Thompson said that the LMA money had been budgeted before Second Judicial (Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson parishes) District Division B Judge Jimmy Teat ruling of July 24 that put Ryder in charge of the town’s finances.
According to Thompson, Ryder sent certified letters to the aldermen demanding repayment.
Said Thompson, “A couple of us went anyway. Now we are looking at whether or not that was a violation, a violation of the (court) order, and my position is that it was not, but that’s just my interpretation. The fiscal administrator’s position is that it was a violation, and therefore it could constitute a breach of the contract – or another word that we use – contempt (of court).
Alderman at-large LaStevic Cottonham asked, “So you’re telling me that I since I attended the conference, that I have to pay the fee – the registration fee for the conference – back to the Town of Jonesboro?”
Replied Thompson, “That’s what he’s asking.” Thompson added, “We believe that there is an overstepping of the boundary (of his authority).”