Posted: Jul 1, 2014 5:34 PM by Chris Nakamoto
Updated: Jul 1, 2014 6:50 PM
PORT ALLEN - A trial between Port Allen's former mayor and the financial officer she tried to fire ended before any arguments even began in West Baton Rouge Parish.
Judge Alvin Batiste honored a request by the city's attorney to take a look at the merits of Audrey McCain's lawsuit against Deedy Slaughter. In the end, Batiste sided with the recalled mayor, dismissing key portions of McCain's lawsuit including claims of retaliation, violating whistle blower statutes, abuse of rights and defamation.
The judge did give McCain's attorney 15 days to amend portions of the lawsuit that could be argued later.
McCain's attorney called the ruling disappointing.
"Not disappointing in a judicial or legal standpoint," McCain's attorney Cy D'Aquilla said. "Disappointed because we were prepared and ready to go to trial. The law affords people remedies and that's what the city decided to take."
J. Arthur Smith is representing the City of Port Allen. He called the judge's decision today a win.
"People have bosses they don't like everyday," Smith said. "That doesn't mean they run to court and get a judgement against their employer because they had a bad time with their boss. We would open the floodgates if that were the law."
Slaughter fired McCain last year after the WBRZ Investigative Unit obtained documents showing possible wrongdoing while Slaughter was in office. That's when McCain filed a lawsuit, and Judge Alvin Batiste reinstated her. Slaughter was recalled by voters in November, and was unsuccessful in trying to keep her job when she ran again this year.
After the hearing, Slaughter said she holds no ill will toward McCain.
"I love you as a child of God," Slaughter said. "God loves us all."
However, Slaughter did say she is happy that today's court action was the first step at putting this behind her.
"Hopefully this will be the end of it all," Slaughter said.
All sides are due back in court in September. The judge encouraged both parties to settle this dispute out of court.