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Mayor refuses to buy SUV despite contract

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PORT ALLEN - Controversy continues to surround the Mayor of Port Allen, and some council members believe her latest actions could border on breaking the law.

Last year, the city budgeted and filled out a purchase order and contract to replace an eight-year-old SUV driven by the Port Allen fire chief.  The truck was specially ordered under a state contract, but as soon as the SUV came in there were problems.

"Mayor Slaughter refused to sign the check to allow our fire chief to go pick up his truck," Councilman Hugh Riviere said.

The purchase order indicates the truck was purchased for $29,372.22.  An email following up with the city states, "Failure to pay promptly could result in suspension from future purchases by the City of Port Allen on state contract."

Municipalities are allowed to piggyback on state contracts to purchase big items, a move which ultimately saves them thousands of dollars per year.  Now there are concerns that because the city did not uphold its end of the bargain, there could be problems in the future.

"My fear is that our ability to purchase things on state contract may be jeopardized," Riviere said.  "We're in violation of the contract.  Technically, the Mayor is breaking the law again because the contract was signed."

When questioned about the issue, Slaughter would not say whether she would sign off on the SUV that was approved. She refused to answer any questions and the line disconnected. 

The City Council is expected to meet tomorrow. This issue will likely be brought up at the meeting.


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