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Councilman signs recall petition after workers quit

 
Councilman signs recall petition after workers quit
Posted Tuesday, August 27th 2013 @ 2am

PORT ALLEN (WBRZ)  - Three days after two longtime Port Allen City employees called it quits, elected officials are beginning to sign the recall petition against Port Allen Mayor Deedy Slaughter.

Administrative Assistant Melita Rasberry and Payroll Clerk Robin Ackerman walked off their jobs Friday. Since April, five employees have resigned. Councilman Hugh Riviere said when those two ladies walked out, they took nearly 40 years of experience with them.

Mayor Deedy Slaughter has been the subject of multiple News 2 investigations. The State Legislative Auditor launched an investigation into her actions, and the Mayor has been in and out of court.

Friday's walk-out of respected employees was the icing on the cake for Councilman Garry Hubble. Hours later, he signed the recall petition against the Mayor. News 2 learned Monday night that Riviere also intends to sign the recall petition Tuesday.

"In my heart I feel like I did the right thing," Hubble said. "I'm very comfortable with it."

Hubble said the lawsuit he filed against the Mayor this summer with other council members and attempts to have logical conversations with her have been unsuccessful.

"I'm an American citizen, and I'm exercising my right," Hubble said. "The only regret that I have is that I couldn't sign it 100 times."

According to Hubble, city hall employees have complained about hostile work conditions. Councilman Hugh Riviere expanded on why employees continue to quit under Mayor Deedy Slaughter's administration.

"You dread coming to work in a dysfunctional atmosphere, and that's what's being created here," Riviere said.

Documents News 2 obtained from the Secretary of State's Office show only eight elected officials in our area have been successfully recalled over the past 30 years. People spearheading the effort in Port Allen say they knew it was going to be a tough process but it's going remarkably well.

"We saw a surge over the weekend with people who said they would not sign the recall who have come forward and said we can't stand back anymore," Organizer John Michael Lockhart said.

Approximately 1,300 signatures are needed to hold a recall election. Once the signatures are turned into the Registrar of Voter's Office they would have to be certified before the governor can order a recall election. If the mayor is recalled by a majority vote, she would be removed from office immediately. The Council would have ten days to appoint a Mayor in place. If the council can't appoint someone, then the Governor could appoint someone as Mayor. That person would remain in place until another election is held to fill the seat.

Lockhart is confident he will surpass the amount of signatures needed and expects some interesting developments next month.

"I have every reason to be completely confident we will be on the November ballot, and we will submit the names shortly to the Registrar of Voter's office," he said.

News 2 reached out to Mayor Deedy Slaughter about the petition, but she did not respond to requests for an interview.

Image: WBRZ

http://www.wbrz.com/news/councilman-signs-recall-petition-after-workers-quit/

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