Metro Council could vote to remove parish attorney over stormwater fee misinformation
BATON ROUGE- Some Metro Council members, like Jen Racca, don't know what to believe after misinformation from the mayor's office concerning a Stormwater Utility Fee.
"I think trust is a strong word right now," Racca told WBRZ.
Councilman Cleve Dunn seems to agree, adding an emergency item to Wednesday's Metro Council agenda that will consider removing Parish Attorney Andy Dotson due to the loss of confidence in his ability to continue as Parish Attorney.
There will also be a question and answer opportunity with the parish attorney about the role of Deputy Parish Attorney Bob Abbott regarding a Non-Disclosure Agreement council members and mayor's office employees were asked to sign related to the stormwater plan.
Councilwoman Laurie Adams told the WBRZ Investigative Unit earlier Tuesday that the NDA worries her.
"I could vote to remove Mr. Dotson. I am very very concerned about what's taken place," Adams said.
Mayor President Sharon Weston-Broome cleared the air about the situation with WBRZ last week. She blamed the Parish Attorney's Office for the misinformation on that NDA.
"I do feel like I was misinformed at the end of the day, that the parish attorney's office had been leading us, our team and even the Metro Council down a path of NDA in that they were part of the process that we had to adhere to," Mayor Broome said.
Also on Tuesday, councilmembers told WBRZ the trust has been strained, not only with the Mayor's office but with the Parish Attorney's Office.
"There's no doubt that the trust has been broken. There's going to be a new level of scrutiny with everything that comes before us from the mayor's office," Councilman Dwight Hudson told WBRZ.
"I don't think anyone trusts the administration or the Parish Attorney's office at this point. I find it hard to believe how misinformation happened between the two parties to be given to us," Racca said.
Racca told WBRZ the resignation of Kelvin Hill from the mayor's office came as no surprise, but she suspects the fallout isn't over.
"It is surprising to me someone within the Parish Attorney's Office hasn't resigned yet," Racca said.
The only thing councilmembers can say for certain, is something needs to be done to address the stormwater issue in Baton Rouge.
"We still have these issues with our stormwater, with our drainage maintenance, so we as a governing body have to get together and come back in the future with a better plan," Councilman Rowdy Gaudet said.
The next Metro Council meeting will be held Wednesday.
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