Lincoln Parish Police Jury Does Flip-Flop on Administrator

After last week voting unanimously to recommend that Lincoln Parish GIS Information Technology Manager Tracy Calloway be appointed Parish Administrator, last night the group chose instead to appoint Douglas Postel to the position. Postel had most recently been Campus Director of the Louisiana Delta Community College.

The vote was 8-4. Yeas were Marvin Franks (District 3), TJ Cranford (District 4), Logan Hunt (District 5), Glen Scriber (District 6), Matt Pullin (District 7), Skip Russell (District 8), Joe Henderson (District 9), and Annette Straughter (District 12).

Voting no were Theresa Wyatt (District 1), Hazel Hunter (District 2), Milton Melton (District 10), and Sharyon Mayfield (District 11).

Making the motion to appoint Postel was Matt Pullin, with a second from Logan Hunt.

That vote was preceded by an unsuccessful motion to appoint Calloway to the position, which failed on a 6-6 tie vote. Joe Henderson and Annette Straughter joined Wyatt, Hunter, Melton, and Mayfield in support of Calloway.

Thirty minutes of public discussion – which almost wasn’t public – took place before the Calloway vote.

Sharyon Mayfield moved to amend the agenda to allow an executive session to discuss the appointment. The motion had a majority 9-3 vote, but failed since it had to be unanimous.

The discussion began with Theresa Wyatt saying that the process was broken, and that last week the jury unanimously recommended Calloway.

Said Wyatt, “We are the governing body of the parish and look at the example we have set. We used what some say is a flawed system to elect an administrator. The same ones used the same system for another employee we hired, and they said nothing about the instrument being flawed.”

Wyatt was referring to a score sheet used to rank the different applicants. That ranking system had been used earlier this year when a new parish Registrar of Voters was appointed.

Matt Pullen responded that the scoring system was flawed.

Said Pullen, “Our system for supposedly picking any applicant is so flawed that it was evident in the scores that it was stacked. I think there were better candidates as a leader of our parish.”

Skip Russell said from his perspective the scoring was not fair.

Sharyon Mayfield noted, “When we left out of the meeting that night (last week), we said that we were going with Tracy 100%. We said it. We went around the whole table and we said yes. For us to come here tonight, and say that we are doing something different is totally wrong.”

In the course of the discussion, several jurors blurted out that a verbal vote was taken among the jurors while in an executive session following the interviews last week, and that vote was 7 to 5 in favor of Calloway.

A frantic Lewis Jones interrupted each time to say that no such vote was taken, and that the jurors “can not” publicly discuss what went on in the executive session.

Jones is an assistant District Attorney and is the legal advisor to the jury.

Lincoln Parish News Online has since learned that Jones was in that executive session last week.

Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law addresses the issue of secret votes.

LA RS 42:14 Meetings of public bodies to be open to the public
A. Every meeting of any public body shall be open to the public unless closed pursuant to R.S. 42:16, 17, or 18.
B. Each public body shall be prohibited from utilizing any manner of proxy voting procedure, secret balloting, or any other means to circumvent the intent of this Chapter.

48 Responses to “Lincoln Parish Police Jury Does Flip-Flop on Administrator”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Which candidate was the most competent? Or does that no longer matter if one is female?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Tracy Calloway is a male . . .

  3. Duck2 Says:

    Newest reality television?

  4. Anonymous Says:

    So much for the Police Jury’s “word”.

  5. godleyworks Says:

    I guess what pains me, is I know both of these individuals and either would be ‘the right person’ for the position to serve with sincere motives for the greater good of Lincoln Parish. That being said, to make sure everyone understands, I have ‘no proverbial dog’ in this hunt to speak. I didn’t know that one was chosen a week ago (Tracy-Inspector Clousseau) then another (Doug-‘Charlie-The Foreigner) a week later. Can those who were there, please help us understand the decision making process on this? Thanks for all you do. All for the best. I’m here to help. Both Doug and Tracy know that I have much respect for them both. Lincoln Parish/Ruston and this region has a lot of good happening/potential/ to mess it up.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Watch the interviews on YouTube. They may both be nice guys, but it is obvious that Postel is vastly more qualified.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Like I said. He will do great. Why was one chosen and then not? Was Doug’s interview after? By the way, wary are you anonymous? I like to know who I dialogue with.

        • Anonymous Says:

          Sorry. I collect my paycheck from a close source. Wait for the video of this weeks PJ meeting. Seems like a couple of folks rigged the scoring the first time around then got caught later.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Was Calloway aware or was he told that His name was at the top of the list after the initial meeting?

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Hmmm…so, the jurors agree (unanimously) after the interviews that Mr. Calloway was to be appointed, then a week later they show up and many of them have changed their minds. Looks like there were conversations held outside of public meetings. That’s a big – legal- no-no, ladies and gentlemen.

    To the Police Jury: Just admit you did wrong. Admit you discussed public matters in private, own up to your mistake, withdraw the offer(s), then attempt to re-do the process in a fair manner. Now, more than ever, it’s important for our leaders to take ownership of their wrong-doings and make things right. Do the right thing.

    To Mr. Postel: You do not want to be appointed in second place. You know what they did was improper, and I’m sure you’re better than that. Ill-gotten gains never benefit in the end. You don’t want to associate with this jury in such a manner. Take the high road here and decline the position until they fix their mistakes. You have not had held a position of employment in some time, I understand, and conveniently held off until this position opened, then seemed to end up with at just the right time in an odd way. I am not implying there was collusion, but one could draw such a conclusion. Make the right choice, before you end up in their boat.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Seems to me that the only people who did something wrong here are the jurors that rigged the scores in favor of a weaker candidate. Not sure that Mr. Postel has done anything wrong. I understand he has been working at Tech since last year.

      • Heisenberg Says:

        So why is this a debate? Seems the jurors chose the most qualified person. They had an initial opinion, then obviously decided to make the decision they felt was the best

        • Anonymous Says:

          Exactly

        • Anonymous Says:

          I think the argument is that, for this many people to change their minds in unison at the same time, there was obviously a discussion of some sort held on this matter outside of a public meeting and without public notice, after the one held last week for the interviews. If this meeting involved at least seven members at any time – which it likely did – then it was done in violation of Louisiana’s public meeting laws (generally LA R.S. 42). It might be possible that this was not the case, but it sure seems mighty coincidental for the folks to suddenly become like-minded en masse. It sounds like Mr. Postel had excellent credentials and experience, but if the appointment was done unethically, then that gives birth to another issue entirely.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Elected officials could care less for laws. We are elected, the elite and will answer to no one except the elite

    • Anonymous Says:

      Seems to be a pattern.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Just another fine example of after-the-fact politics with no regard for the personal lives & feeling of others. The Lincoln Parish PJ should be ashamed, but I know they probably sleep well at night, as do most politicians..

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Sorry they did Ms. Calloway like that!!!

  10. Calloway Says:

    My name is Jennifer Calloway. I am Tracy Calloway’s wife. The thing I find interesting here is that many of these comments are anonymous. What that tells me is that there are a lot of cowards out there who are not willing to put their name on what they say because they are afraid of the consequences. It’s interesting they don’t want to own what they say or do.

    These are both good men. Most people who know both of them will tell you that. Thank you, Rick Godley, for being the outlier and putting your name on your post and pointing that out.

    Rick—you are absolutely correct. Either one of these candidates is a good choice. Doug is qualified. Tracy knew when he found out that Doug was applying that he would be the stiffest competition. Doug being appointed over Tracy here is not the problem. The way it was done is the problem.

    Tracy—I’m sure you’re going to read this. I apologize but I’m going to throw you under the bus here and I’m really sorry. But, to be honest, Doug is the better actor. Hands down. I’ve never told you that before, but there it is. In case the readers here don’t understand the significance of this, both of these men are in the community theater and have shared the stage before and—people, I’m sorry if I’m insulting your intelligence— being a better actor makes him a better interviewer. However, it does NOT make him the better administrator. That still remains to be seen.

    With that being said, I’m a Momma Bear and I have to defend my husband. He is very mild-mannered and calm. I am not. I was very proud to be the wife of Tracy Calloway Tuesday night when all of this went down. He sat there and calmly, stoically watched eight people screw him over. In public. And give “integrity’ as an excuse. Let me name them: Skip Russell, Logan Hunt, Matt Pullin, Glenn Scriber, Joe Henderson, Marvin Franks, TJ Cranford, and Annette Straughter. Oh, and let me add one more: Doug Postel. Because while I totally recognize Doug is capable, he is not without fault here. And now the jury has placed themselves in a very precarious position. They’ve appointed a man who is beholden to a couple of members of the jury. After a unanimous vote to recommend a different man altogether. They’ve appointed an admittedly capable man who had backdoor meetings with jurors for over a year—a tactic that Tracy wasn’t willing to use because it’s just so unethical. Do you want these people to be your jurors? People who are not smart enough to look at the big picture? Someone appointed in this way cannot possibly be impartial. And before you make the argument that this is not a political position…that it’s an administrative position so he doesn’t have the kind of power to sway votes, think again.

    Tracy isn’t beholden to anyone. No one but the public he serves.

    We have been approached by many who assume that this is such an embarrassment for Tracy. I have to go on record to say this is not an embarrassment for Tracy. It is an embarrassment for the Jury. Shame on them. They used a process to supposedly hire Tracy that they had used countless times before. If the new jurors had a problem with the process– they had hired two people with it in the last six months and should have used those two experiences to fix the problem BEFORE such an important position as the parish administrator was appointed. BUT. A couple of jurors–when their “friend who needed a job” didn’t get hired because the more experienced jurors on the jury saw Tracy’s experience and letters of recommendation as more applicable to the position—spearheaded the drive to hire Doug instead. They attacked a process that has been used for years to get their “friend-who-needed-a-job” hired.

    Tracy does not want this job anymore. He doesn’t want to work for the type of people who would do what your jurors have done. He’s better than that. He still works WITH them because of the nature of his work, but they don’t manage him and don’t control him. He’s an anomaly in government because he really doesn’t have a boss. His boss is the people. The people he was hired to help. He’s the ultimate public servant. How apropos in our democratic society, dontcha think? In the position he has held for the last nine years, no one has managed him. He has managed himself. He has managed 300+ employees of the parish in a role where only one of them was his direct report. Think about that for a second. Let that sink in.

    IT work is a strange beast. There is so much power there but nobody knows it. And it is a thankless job. Nobody recognizes it. It’s always in the background. Hiding. Tracy has managed most of the Parish IT systems for almost a decade. 24/7. Making sure 911 is always up and running. The Sheriff’s Department. The detention center. Narcotics enforcement. Fire District. Clerk’s Office. District Attorney. Judge’s Office. Assessor’s Office. Police Jury. GIS. The parish is safe and in good hands because my husband—along with a lot of other good people– is the ultimate public servant. Doug may be incredibly capable, but he’s walking into a job where there’s a steep learning curve for him. Not so much for Tracy. He already manages these agencies and he does it well. He already has the relationships that Doug has admittedly said he would need to form, and those things take time.

    Skip Russell was apparently the first and only juror who changed his vote when the nomination came up for Tracy. After the motion failed and Doug was nominated, two other jurors changed their vote. As of yesterday, I now have a new insurance agent.

    Yes. Tracy is very stoic, mild-mannered, and calm.

    So was Clark Kent.

    And he turned out to be Superman
    .
    Be prepared for the Category 5 shit-storm your jurors just unleashed on you.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Mrs Wyatts speech was spot on!! They should not have let it be known that Mr. Calloway was the pick if the plan was to undo their vote. These so called fine Christian men wouldn’t know integrity if it but them in the a$$. The one juror that kept saying he would go with what everyone else wants needs to have his own opinion!! will not be voting for my shady juror again!!

    • Anonymous Says:

      If people only knew. You NEVER know what these jurors will do! Best wishes Mr. Postel. Watch your back.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Sorry yall had to go through that. Praying for You and Tracy. Hopefully one day yall will look back on this in months or years and realize this was a blessing. It’s all part of Gods plan.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Amen, Jennifer!

  12. Mark Says:

    Sounds like to me the jurors who stack the votes are to should be the ones in question not the 5 who stood strong in doing the right thing.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Walter not telling the whole story. Read the Daily Leader before passing judgement.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Here is my concern. How can we, citizen’s of Lincoln Parish, even trust our police jurors to make decisions for our community, if they can not even stand behind their own decisions. They say one thing today, and something completely different tomorrow. Makes you wonder how many other times this has happened. No wonder we have so many problems within our community, and never get results. They will say what the public wants to hear, just to turn around tomorrow with a different answer. I am certain what happened to Tracy is not the first time this has happened. Maybe we, as Lincoln Parish citizen’s should take a step back and take a hard look who we have in charge of our decision making.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Really? I’m proud of this Jury and the ones who stood strong for injustice. Rigging and stacking the votes is wrong and everyone should be angry at that and not Falling the flip flop narrative.

      • Anonymous Says:

        If the system was rigged, then it was rigged the prior week when the decision was made to appoint the first guy. I wonder why that wasn’t addressed then.

        • Anonymous Says:

          And then they rigged it again when they recounted the votes and made ALL the votes match what the person recounting them thought they should be.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Tracy we support you and we’re glad you’re there for us when we need you. Thank you for all the hard work you do!

  16. Anonymous Says:

    So if I’m understanding this correctly the jurors attempted to fix lack of integrity with a shocking lack of integrity. Ironic. What they did to this man was wrong.

    All Milton Melton did was move a dumpster and he now has a petition for removal from office. I wonder what will happen here when more people find out about this. Will there be more petitions?

    If Mrs. Calloway is to be believed there was a lot of back door handshaking going on. The whole process is tainted. It needs to be redone but it sounds like Calloway wouldn’t be putting his name in the mix. Smart man.

    Be careful Postel. You can be bitten by vipers even when you are blowing them.

    • godleyworks Says:

      Admittedly I used a naughty word in my post. I’m re-learning them to use in certian siuations. However, this post is uncool and uncalled for. I would ask whomever this ‘Anonymous’ is, to please edit. Rick Godley

  17. Caleb Daniel Says:

    Daily Leader reporter here. Not going to toss in any opinions, but if anyone wants to see the full meeting, our video is up here: https://tinyurl.com/ya4xkrdm

    It’s free to view, and both meetings from last week are also on our website and YouTube channel.

    As others have noted, you still probably won’t get the full picture just from seeing what was said in public, but I hope some may find it helpful.

  18. George Webb Says:

    As an out of town attorney told me one time, ” there are Louisiana politics and then there is Lincoln Parish politics and Lincoln Parish politics trump all”.

  19. Claudius Says:

    I am amused by the reactions people have. The PJ is made up of twelve people who are willing to run and serve if they get the most votes. Many if not most of the people in the community who would make good members won’t dare run because they don’t want the hassle that is part of the territory, or they don’t want any part of what they see as the political and racial mine field. The PJ is not made up of polished politicians, just average folks trying to do their best, and some do not have experience with professional or corporate office life. Hiring is a difficult process filled with risk. I wonder how most people would handle having a seat at that table.

    • Anonymous Says:

      You are entirely correct. Most good people who should hold office don’t run. If you are “amused” by the reactions of citizens here, check your moral code. The pj, in one meeting, extended a recommendation for hire. In the next, they rescinded that recommendation and gave another instead based on what they thought were irregularities in voting that should have never taken place in executive session. Two wrongs don’t make a right. The whole process smacks of a violation of ethics and public meeting law. If you’re going to run for public office you better know what the rules governing your office are. This new appointment is tainted, as would the first one have been if it had stuck. The entire pj is at fault here. If you find this amusing you are part of the problem.

      • Claudius Says:

        Oh, I am “entirely correct” but immoral.
        The pj should have made the appointment when they decided the first time. Leaving it undone just made them subject to a lobbying effort to change their decision. That is the mistake they made. They are not professional managers nor experienced politicians, just average folks. Several are entirely new and haven’t yet learned hiw things work nor how little actual power they have.
        Decide then move on.

        • Anonymous Says:

          I agree. Your amusement is the problem. That’s not the emotion a concerned citizen should have. Disgust maybe? Determination to make a change with your vote next election? Incompetence in our government shouldn’t be tolerated at any level, even one so local. But you are correct. It seems to be status quo.

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