Deedy Slaughter-era political haggle over settlement
PORT ALLEN - Despite a court settlement only needing ceremonious approval at the city's council meeting Wednesday night, there was some Deedy Slaughter-era stress as leaders voted on the offer.
The city's chief financial officer, Audrey McCain was offered a $112,500 settlement in connection with a wrongful termination lawsuit she filed against Slaughter. When Slaughter was mayor, she fired McCain. Later, Slaughter was recalled by voters and lost an attempt at winning her office back.
While all sides agreed to the settlement, the city council had to approve it. At its meeting, the group voted 3-2 to award McCain the money. Brandon Brown and Ray Helen Lawrence voted no; Lawrence said the money should be used for other things while Brown said he never agreed to the settlement in the first place.
Port Allen is on the hook for the settlement and her legal fees. The city's risk management insurance will cover $29,000 and about $84,000 will come from the city's general fund.
Councilmen R.J. Loupe, Garry Hubble and Hugh "Hootie" Riviere voted for the approval of the settlement.
Mayor Richard Lee said after the meeting, he is ready to put all of this behind him and the council and move the city forward.
"It got kind of tense in the meeting tonight, but we're hoping with this settlement, and the fact that we can do something positive and move forward from this, we can learn from our past mistakes and do something positive for the citizens of Port Allen," he said.
Wednesday, the mayor introduced his operating budgets for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. It includes an across the board four percent pay raise for city employees. If approved, that would begin July 1.