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Mayor under scrutiny vetoes department head measure

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PORT ALLEN - Mayor Deedy Slaughter vetoed a measure passed by the Port Allen City Council last week which would have explicity listed several city positions as department heads, including the chief financial officer who took Slaughter to court after the mayor tried to fire her.

The ordinance, which was adopted 3-2 last week, would have officially classified five positions as department heads for the city; chief financial officer, chief administrative officer, director of public works, and the police and fire chiefs.

Councilman Garry Hubble authored the ordinance.

"To me it's a slap int he face to the judge on the ruling he made," Hubble said.  "He specifically said in his ruling this was a department head.  She just said it's not."

Earlier this year Judge Alvin Batiste ruled that Chief Financial Officer Audrey McCain was a department head when Slaughter fired her, which happened after McCain released public records to News 2 showing a variety of charges Slaughter wanted taxpayers to compensate her for during a trip to the president's inauguration.

Because McCain's position was considered a department head, Slaughter did not have the authority to fire her. The ordinance was passed last week in an attempt to clarify which positions in the city were also department heads, and subject to the same rules.

Judge Batiste also ordered Slaughter not to interfere with McCain's work after she returned to work, an order McCain's attorneys claim Slaughter violated several times.

The mayor's veto can be overridden with a two-thirds majority vote.

News 2's Chris Nakamoto will have more details tonight.

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