Archive for the ‘Lincoln Parish Police Jury’ Category

“Bottle Club” @ Lincoln Hall Under Consideration


A parish-owned, privately operated meeting hall might become a “bottle-club” for private events, if the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) goes along with the present operator’s request to sell the remainder of his 30 year lease to another operator.

Present tenant Carl Burton and the prospective operator Jimmy Shuff asked last night’s meeting of the jury’s Public Works Comittee for permission to sell the remainder of Burton’s lease and change the terms to allow BYOB events. Shuff said he and his family had served as “deejays” for wedding receptions, and other similar events.

Lincoln Hall was constructed in 2002. It is a 4800 sq ft banquet facility located adjacent to the North Louisiana Exhibition Center off Hwy 33, about five miles northeast of Ruston. The present lease agreement is in force until 2032.

At least one juror looked askance at such a deal.

“I think that if we do this, you’re setting precedent for a lot of other people to come and say we want a bottle club,” said Annette Straughter (District 12).

The committee voted to table the issue to allow the jury’s legal counsel to review the issue, and then reconsider any written proposals submitted by Burton and Shuff.

During the full jury meeting, there was a bit of discussion about Straughter’s recent attendance of a Delta Leadership Institute event in New Orleans, and the jury’s policy regarding reimbursement of expenses.

Lincoln Parish Police Jury Tomorrow


The Lincoln Parish Police Jury will meet Tuesday, February 14, Lincoln Parish Court House, third floor. Here are the agendas and meeting times.

Public Works Committee – 6:00 PM

Police Jury – 7:00 PM

LPPJ Committee Assignments – 2017



Former Parish Fire Chief Loses Suit for Comp Pay, Benefits


Former Lincoln Parish Fire District No. 1 Fire Chief Dennis Ford is not entitled to comp time pay and paid medical benefits, a Third Judicial (Lincoln, Union Parishes) District Court judge has ruled.

Wrote Division A Judge Cynthia Woodard in a ruling filed 1/13/27:

As a result, the Court finds that the Plaintiff failed to meet his burden of proof on his claims for compensatory time, post-retirement health insurance coverage, and his claim under the Louisiana Wage Payment Act. Therefore, the Court denies all claims asserted by the Plaintiff against the Defendant for the aforesaid reasons.

Woodard noted that “Mr. Ford was an executive, administrative, or professional employee, who is exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) or payment of any comp time.”

Also, “…the Court further notes that there were no writings memorializing any such agreement as to the comp time. Any conversations Mr. Ford had with Mr. Thompson (former Board Chair Tom Thompson) about comp time do not appear to have been considered or approved by the Board.”

Regarding the medical benefits, Woodard wrote, “Mr. Ford was aware that the retiree class was a closed class before the policy was accepted, well before his retirement. He was also aware that no other retiree since Mr. Kirkland has been allowed to remain on the insurance.”

See here the complete Reasons for Ruling.

Ford had originally sued in September, 2014 and had demanded nearly half a million dollars in comp time.

See here the original lawsuit.

The bench trial (as opposed to a jury trial) was held last October at the Lincoln Parish Court House in Ruston.

Ford’s attorney was Daniel Street. Representing the district was Shreveport Attorney Michael Lowe.

Lincoln Parish Police Jury, Continued


After the election of officers at last Tuesday’s meeting of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) there was some other business transacted: appointments to several boards and commissions around the parish.

  • Greater Ward One Waterworks District – Mr. Rusty Mabry
  • Waterworks District Number 3 – Mr. Willard Anderson
  • Lincoln Parish Fire Protection District – Mr. Richard Aillet
  • Lincoln Parish Library Board of Control – Ms. Gay O’Neal
  • Lincoln Parish Convention and Visitor’s Bureau:
    Mr. Marco Born Representing Louisiana Tech University
    Ms. Suzanne Douglas Representing Grambling State University

Finally, an ordinance was introduced and a public hearing scheduled for three adjudicated property parcels.  That hearing will be at the 2/14 meeting of the jury.

Roberson Elected LPPJ Prez


While on a national level, it didn’t have the cosmic impact of Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States, as far as local politics goes, Randy Roberson’s election as Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) President at tonight’s meeting was by all measures an upset.

Roberson (District Four), prevailed over incumbent President Jody Backus (District Seven) on a 6-5 vote.

Voting for Roberson were:

Theresa Wyatt (District One)
Bobby Bennett (District Three)
Randy Roberson (District Four)
Walter Pullen (District Six)
Skip Russell (District Eight)
Nancy Wilson (District Ten)

Voting for Backus were:

Hazel Hunter (District Two)
David Hammonds (District Five)
Jody Backus (District Seven)
Joe Henderson (District Nine)
Annette Straughter (District Twelve)

Sharyon Mayfield (District Eleven) was absent.

Wilson nominated Roberson, and Hammond nominated Backus.

Moments earlier, Joe Henderson was re-elected as Vice President also on a 6-5 vote. He was opposed by Nancy Wilson.

Henderson got the same votes as did Backus, with the addition of Pullen’s vote. Wilson got the same votes as did Roberson, minus Pullen.

Wilson was nominated by Wyatt, and Henderson by Backus.

We will have additional reporting later on the rest of the meeting.

Lincoln Parish Police Jury Tomorrow


The Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) will meet tomorrow (Tuesday, January 10), 7:00 PM, Lincoln Parish Court House, third floor.

Here is the agenda.

Highlights include election of officers and several appointments to area boards and commissions. No committee meetings are scheduled.

LPPJ VP Joe Henderson Claims Office Depot Discriminated


Joe Henderson (District Nine), Vice-President of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ), has been involved in a year-long legal battle with Office Depot over Henderson’s claim that he was discriminated against in the Ruston store when a clerk wouldn’t assist him in purchasing a printer.

From the complaint originally filed on 12/30/15:

On or about January 24, 2015, at approximately 2 P.M., Plaintiff Henderson drove to Defendant Office Depot’s Ruston, Louisiana store, located in Lincoln Parish, to purchase a printer.

Upon entering the store, Henderson walked to the aisle where the printers were on display. Plaintiff waited in the aisle for 15 minutes, but was not acknowledged by a sales representative or any other agent of Defendant Office Depot.

Plaintiff then politely took off his hat and waived at the cashier to get his attention, who in turn called for someone to help Henderson. However, Plaintiff waited for an additional 10 minutes without being helped or his presence being acknowledged any further.

Plaintiff then walked to another aisle and sought assistance from another of Defendant’s sales representatives, upon information and belief going by the name “Cat,” a Caucasian female, to help him choose a printer to purchase. However, Defendant’s sales representative, “Cat,” was assisting another customer, a Caucasian male, with a tax related issue.

Henderson, an accountant specializing in tax consulting, offered his advice to the other customer and told the sales representative that he would be in the printer aisle when she finished assisting the other gentleman.

Plaintiff browsed the printers on display as he waited for the sales representative to finish helping the other customer.

After Defendant’s sales representative finished assisting the Caucasian customer, instead of attending to Plaintiff the sales representative walked off the sales floor without acknowledging Plaintiff and did not return to assist him.

Shortly after the sales representative left the sales floor, another Caucasian male entered Office Depot.

Although Plaintiff was still waiting for assistance and had previously informed the sales representative that he needed assistance, the sales representative, “Cat,” returned to the sales floor, ignored Plaintiff, and walked directly to the second Caucasian customer who had just entered the store, well after Henderson’s arrival and request for help, and began serving the Caucasian customer.

Plaintiff again waited while the sales representative assisted the second Caucasian customer.

At or about 2:45, after waiting without receiving assistance for at least 45 minutes while Defendant’s sales representative, “Cat,” tended to Caucasian customers, Plaintiff left the Ruston, Louisiana Office Depot store without purchasing a printer as intended. On his way out, Plaintiff informed the cashier that he would never return to the store because of the mistreatment he received.

See here the document.

After a flurry of motions and counter motions, Henderson filed an amended complaint.

See here the document.

The attorneys for Office Depot, Miles Thomas and Tamula Yelling filed a response.

See here the document.

In September, Magistrate Judge Karen Hayes of the U. S. District Court (Western District of Louisiana) filed a report and recommendations that upheld part of the plaintiff’s claims and dismissed other parts. Judge Robert James approved the recommendations.

See here the document.

Office Depot appealed James’ judgement, and Henderson objected to the appeal, which is where matter stand now.

Defendant Office Depot, Inc.’s Partial Objection to the Report and Recommendation

Defendant’s Motion for Certification of Issue for Interlocutory Appeal

Plaintiff’s Opposition to Defendant’s Motion for Certification of Issue for Interlocutory Appeal.

Notable in the case is the plaintiff attorney, Karl Bernard of New Orleans.

Bernard is also the plaintiff attorney in a lawsuit by Lincoln Juror Teresa Wyatt (District Seven) against her fellow jurors.

Wyatt alleges that the present jury committee assignments short-change voters in two districts of representation on the committees.

So, Bernard, on behalf of one juror, has sued a fellow juror who he also represents in another case.

Henderson, in his capacity as a police juror, chairs the Lincoln Parish Detention Center Commission.

LPPJ Adopts Budgets


The Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) adopted amended 2016 and proposed 2017 budgets at last night’s meeting. See here the documents:

Amended 2016 Budget
Proposed 2017 Budget

There was little discussion during the vote, but they didn’t pass unanimously.

Voting no for the 2016 amended was Teresa Wyatt (District 1). Voting no on the 2017 proposed was Wyatt and Nancy Wilson (District 10).

On a budget related issue, Treasurer Laura Hartt reported that sales tax collections were significantly lower than last year.

Said Hartt, “We’re 19% lower, year to date.”

During the earlier Personnel/Benefits Committee meeting, several re-appointments to area boards were made.

However, when it came time to appoint a replacement for long-time Lincoln Parish Library Board of Control member Virgil Orr, there were three applicants for the job.

Despite a letter from the board recommending Deborah Holliman to fill Orr’s unexpired term, three of the five committee members voted to appoint Gay O’Neal to the board.

Voting for O’Neal were Jody Backus (District 7), Randy Roberson (District 4), and Annette Straughter (District 12).

Teresa Wyatt voted for Holliman, and Joe Henderson voted for Allison Mead.

Lincoln Parish Police Jury Tonight


The Lincoln Parish Police Jury (LPPJ) will meet tonight at the Lincoln Parish Court House, 3rd floor.

Personnel/Benefits Committee – 6:30 PM

Police Jury – 7:00 PM