Trial set for Mayor Slaughter next month
PORT ALLEN - The ongoing legal drama involving the mayor of Port Allen came to a head in a West Baton Rouge Parish courtroom today.
Judge Alvin Batiste told attorneys for both sides the court will not function as a "manager" for the city of Port Allen.
A legal fight between the mayor and council members have been going on since she took office. She's been the focus of multiple News 2 reports which showed possible wrongdoing. Now, she's scheduled to go to trial next month. That's when Judge Batiste said most of the issues would be addressed.
"This is a good day for Ms. McCain, a good day for Port Allen," said Seth Dornier, McCain's attorney. "The political process is true way to settle this, not in a courtroom, but we will be in a courtroom on the 19th."
One issue brought up in court today is whether the mayor could fire Audrey McCain at any time. In court, Judge Alvin Batiste said the city council sets policies for hiring and firing, and there needs to be compromises.
Attorney Ron Johnson is representing the mayor. He said that's exactly what she has been trying to do.
"We have indicated all along the mayor desires to sit down with council members to resolve any and all conflicts," Johnson said. "We have asked for such for quite sometime."
Another issue News 2 has been looking into for weeks are payments to Slaughter's attorney. A pay sheet indicates Johnson received payments after July 2, the day Judge Batiste ruled the Mayor had to approve lawyer fees through the council.
"The fees were lawfully paid because all of the fees prior to court ruling, he said those could be paid," Johnson said.
Today, Johnson stated all payments he received were for services before the judge's ruling, including this payment for $2,800 issued on August 7.
"I have not been paid for any work done subsequent to the judge's ruling subsequent to that night at 9 p.m.... when we met out here," Johnson said. "There's been no bill submitted subsequent to that ruling."
Johnson said right now the mayor is paying all of her legal fees out of her own pocket.