Groundhog Day @ LPPJ

The Lincoln Parish Police Jury last night met in a twenty minute executive session to discuss the appointment of Registrar of Voters for Lincoln Parish. We believe that session was not legal.

Last night’s meeting of the jury was almost identical to a July, 2017 meeting where a jury committee illegally met in executive session. Both involved the interview and hiring of public employees.

It was reminiscent of the the movie Groundhog Day, where a TV weatherman caught in a time loop, repeatedly reliving the same day.

Here is the provision that is troubling:

LA RS 42:17 Exceptions to Open Meetings

A. A public body may hold an executive session pursuant to R.S. 42:16 for one or more of the following reasons:
(1) Discussion of the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of a person, provided that such person is notified in writing at least twenty-four hours, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, before the scheduled time contained in the notice of the meeting at which such executive session is to take place and that such person may require that such discussion be held at an open meeting. However, nothing in this Paragraph shall permit an executive session for discussion of the appointment of a person to a public body

In 2017, the Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office admonished the jury for their behavior, and we have again complained to the DA and asked that they insure the jury and its employees are properly educated as to the requirements of the Open Meetings Law.

The meeting opened with jury Administrator Courtney Hall suggesting that executive session, to which a motion was made by District Five’s Logan Hunt and seconded by District Twelve’s Annette Straughter.

Local political activist Bill Smith, who frequently attends jury, school board, and city council meetings, objected.

After the 20 minute session, Smith renewed his questions, but was often ignored by jury President Joe Henderson.

Said Smith, “You are deliberately overlooking me when I got my hand up and I’m telling you that I have a question.”

The jury voted to allow Hall to compose a set of interview questions for the prospective hires, and set next Tuesday, March 3, 5:30 PM for interviews.

The applicants are Sharon Parnell, who is a Deputy Registrar, Bethany Collie, Dustin Hampton, and Vana Sasser.

The jury also discussed the possibility of distributing the agendas and information packets via email, instead of hand-delivering then by messenger to each individual juror.

Also notable at the juror’s table was newly appointed District Three juror Marvin Franks. Though not officially a juror since he hasn’t been sworn in, he sat in during the jury’s executive session.

13 Responses to “Groundhog Day @ LPPJ”

  1. DH Says:

    “Finally, during the secret meeting, the committee reviewed the applicants, and recommended finalists to be interviewed, according to a source who was in the meeting. Review is permissible, but the recommendation cannot be done in secret -July 2017.” So did they review AND recommend again? Also, I would like to know what qualifies as a public body just like On The Outside Looking In commented in 2017.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    We are elected officials. We do as we wish.

    • Heisenberg Says:

      Did Walter throw a hissy fit?

      • Anonymous Says:

        How old are you Hindenberg, thirteen?

        • Anonymous Says:

          You forget, according to mayor, Ruston is an open-minded City.

        • Never been published Says:

          Heard you got your panties in a bunch when they went into executive session. You have to be more professional if you’re gonna be the Walter Cronkite of Lincoln parish Walt. Cmon man, us simple folk just want to know the news, not your agenda

  3. Anonymous Says:

    When public officials break the law in their official capacity what are the consequences? When privates citizens break the law they receive punishment for their actions. Something wrong with this picture.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    state attorney general

  5. TryAgain Says:

    Attorney General? Bah!
    It was La’s AG that signed off on the board of Lincoln General Hospital taking the hospital, which was in essence public property, selling it, and keeping the money.
    Run to the AG if you want; sometimes they are beyond useless and in any case are a poor substitute for people who try to do the right thing to begin with.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Laws are written to lawfully steal from the public. Decisions made by unelected board Members steals. School boards give out monies for work not done.

  7. Situs Casino Online Terbaik Says:

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