Port Allen, LA Update – 9/18/14

Clashes between former Port Allen mayor, CFO detailed in filings

Ex-mayor, CFO had ongoing tensions
By Terry L. Jones

PORT ALLEN — New court filings in the lawsuit Port Allen Chief Financial Officer Audrey McCain lodged against former Mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter reveal some of the behind-the-scenes drama that played out at City Hall before the controversial mayor was ousted from office.

n a motion filed in 8th Judicial District Court, McCain’s attorneys say Slaughter stripped McCain of powers inherent to her position as CFO, such as her authority to manage bank accounts. And as tensions between them rose, they wrote, Slaughter ordered McCain to keep her office door in City Hall open at all times and would send her home for not following orders McCain considered improper, the filings state.

District Judge Alvin Batiste was set to hear arguments in the case on Wednesday but had to delay the court proceedings because of health issues confronting one of Slaughter’s lawyers.

McCain sued Slaughter in February 2013 after Slaughter fired her over accounting deficiencies cited in an annual audit report for the city — a decision later overturned by Batiste. The judge ruled that the mayor lacked authority to dismiss the chief financial officer without City Council approval.

However, allegations that Slaughter’s dismissal of McCain violated the state’s whistleblower law and that the former mayor had defamed McCain and interfered with her day-to-day job duties as CFO caused the legal battle to stretch on for more than a year.

In the motions filed Monday, attorneys for McCain argue that Slaughter took punitive actions against the CFO because McCain would not obey Slaughter’s orders to make certain payments McCain considered improper.

Among other things, they wrote, McCain refused to pay the former mayor $20,000 more than her budgeted salary. McCain also would not reimburse Slaughter for expense reports that the CFO says were erroneously submitted for Slaughter’s trip to Washington, D.C., during the inauguration of President Barack Obama in Jan. 2013. In addition, McCain’s lawyers wrote, McCain disobeyed directives from Slaughter to ignore public records requests from the media.

In filings responding to the claims in McCain’s suit, attorney J. Arthur Smith, who represents the city of Port Allen, wrote that she isn’t entitled to protection under the state’s whistleblower law because the actions McCain took fall within the scope of her job duties as a financial watchdog for the city.

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One Response to “Port Allen, LA Update – 9/18/14”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    When will Mayor Thompson be back in Jonesboro? It will be interesting to see his new job.

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