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News 2 Investigates: Mayor attends inauguration on taxpayers' dime

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Posted: Feb 11, 2013 5:18 PM by Chris Nakamoto
Updated: Feb 11, 2013 7:01 PM
Source: WBRZ

  Rating: 4.0 (1 vote)

Topics: Port Allen, Dee Dee Slaughter, Mayor, Presidential Inauguration, Chief Financial Officer Fired, Audrey McCain, WBRZ

PORT ALLEN - One week after News 2 turned in public records requests asking for financial information surrounding Port Allen's new mayor, Dee Dee Slaughter, she fired her Chief Financial Officer.

Those documents News 2 obtained show Slaughter traveled to Washington D.C. for President Obama's inauguration last month, and hit taxpayers with a $2,431.72 bill for it.

The documents indicate Slaughter listed expenses of $1,273.02 for three night's lodging, and claimed she drove 200 miles round trip from Port Allen to the New Orleans airport. Online mileage calculations show that is only a 148-mile drive.

Nearly 72 hours after News 2 received the financial documents, C.F.O. Audrey McCain was let go from her position. In a letter sent to city council members, Slaughter cited it was due to a recent legislative audit.

However, council members told News 2 Slaughter may have broken the law when she fired McCain.

"There are laws that need to be followed, and I expressed that to the Mayor," Councilman Hugh Riviere said. "I think her termination was unjustified."

The governing code of law for the City of Port Allen states that the Mayor has the authority to fire any employee, with the exception of the municipal clerk or a department head. Council members contend McCain was a department head, and she should have never been fired.

News 2 waited for at least four hours inside Mayor Slaughter's office to ask her about the termination. She barricaded herself inside and as we began knocking and asking questions. Her brother-in-law Ralph Slaughter, the former Southern University Board President, was the only person who would answer questions, and was vague doing so.

"She said she's not going to do an on-camera interview," Slaughter told News 2.

Slaughter confirmed to News 2 he is part of the new mayor's "transition team," but said he is unpaid and not an employee of Port Allen. When asked whether he would do an interview, he said he was not authorized to speak on the Mayor's behalf, even though he was speaking on her behalf saying she would not do an interview.

Council members expect more details to come out at Wednesday's council meeting. We'll have more on this investigation and more on the documents we obtained this week.

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