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Judge orders Port Allen Mayor to stand trial

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PORT ALLEN- Judge Alvin Batiste ruled today that Port Allen Mayor Deedy Slaughter will go to trial for a lawsuit filed against her by Chief Financial Officer Audrey McCain.

In court, Slaughter's attorneys filed a motion to have McCain's entire lawsuit tossed out. Judge Batiste ruled there was enough genuine material fact for this case to proceed to trial.

Slaughter has been the subject of numerous News 2 investigations since February.  Today, she showed up in court for the first time since the legal drama began earlier this year.

"We feel at this point it's a huge victory for McCain and people of Port Allen," Audrey McCain's attorney Seth Dornier said. "He (the Judge) denied the mayor's relief in seemingly all parts but one."

However, Mayor Slaughter's attorney Ron Johnson declared a victory after court as well.

"We will be taking writs to the first circuit court appeal on denial of certain portions of our motion," Johnson said. "We believe the law is on the mayor's side. We believe we will prevail on merits and all of Ms. McCain's claims will be dismissed."

Chief Financial Officer Audrey McCain sued earlier this year for wrongful termination, when the Mayor fired McCain. Judge Batiste reinstated McCain back in February and ordered the Mayor not to interfere in her work. McCain and her attorneys contend that Slaughter continues to interfere with her job. One recent example is locking McCain out of all city bank accounts.

"This is a great town, beautiful town," Dornier said. "Ms. McCain is gravely injured, and the people are suffering and the mayor needs to follow the rules."

Another issue that still hasn't been rectified after this month's court hearing is the Mayor's salary. Judge Batiste ordered Slaughter to get a budget amendment to continue collecting $85,000, but that hasn't been done. Records News 2 obtained, show she still is collecting her full salary.

"That issue as far as amendments to reflect appropriate salary level will come before the council and proper committee to make those adjustments in 30 days or so," Johnson said.

A motion's hearing was scheduled for August 28. The trial for Mayor Deedy Slaughter is scheduled for September 19 and could last two days.


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