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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Constables and JP’s to get raises

Constables and JP’s to get raises

An effort to increase the salaries of all constables and justices of the peace in Lafourche Parish was debated heavily at Tuesday’s Council public meeting in Mathews.

Jerry Jones’ sponsored ordinance, designed to give them a $300 raise, met with some criticism.

Before Tuesday, constables and JP’s made $500 monthly in salary. The ordinance proposed to raise that figure to $800 monthly.

“I’ve been here 34 years and they have never had a raise,” said Councilman Daniel Lorraine. “And there’s no telling how many years they were paid that same $500 salary before I got here.”

Justices are elected to six-year terms. They have jurisdiction in civil matters which are under $5,000 and can perform marriage ceremonies.

Constables are also elected to six-year terms and carry out the orders of the JP’s, such as serving citations and enforcing evictions and garnishments. 

There are four JP’s and four constables in Lafourche.

Councilman Armand Autin was not in favor of the raise.

“Considering that the employees of the parish are not getting raises, it’s crazy to jump up 60%, from $500 to $800,” he said.

Autin offered an amendment to raise the salaries only by 15%, to $650, but several councilmen disagreed.

“They actually do full-time work and don’t get anything extra,” said Bayou Blue Councilman James Bourgeois.

Jerry Jones noted that neighboring parishes pay $750-800 monthly for their JP’s and constables.

Autin’s amendment failed by 1-8 vote (his was the only “yea” vote), but the ordinance in its original form passed by 8-1 vote, with Autin dissenting.