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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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Council delays vote on finance director

Council delays vote on finance director


The Lafourche Parish Council voted down the nomination for parish administrator Tuesday night and deferred a vote for the finance director until Monday.

Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle nominated former Councilman Rodney Doucet to be parish administrator earlier this month.

Former Parish Administrator Leif Haas resigned effective Feb. 1.

The 7-2 vote by the council gives Cantrelle another 60 days to make a second nomination and present it to the council.

Here’s how the council voted:

Against: Noonie Autin, Michael Gros, Jerry Jones, Jerry LaFont, Bo Melvin, Corey Perrillioux and Luci Sposito.

For: James Bourgeois and Daniel Lorraine.

Gros made a motion to hold the vote until a special meeting Monday, but it failed for lack of a second.

Doucet was not present at the meeting Tuesday. Cantrelle said he had received a message from Doucet that he would be unable to attend the meeting.

Earlier at the meeting, Lorraine moved to defer a vote on the appointment of Lionel J. Lagarde Jr. as finance director.

Former Finance Director Carrel Hymel also resigned effective Feb. 1. He now serves in a civil service position as finance manager.

Lorraine, Jones and Melvin agreed to call a special meeting for 5 p.m. Monday to vote on the nomination, despite some council members saying they were not certain they could attend. It requires five council members to make a quorum, which is needed to hold a meeting.

The council must vote on the nomination by Tuesday to meet the 30-day mark mandated in the parish charter.

Lagarde was previously nominated for the community service director position. He was present at the meeting but said he would wait to address the council until the special meeting on Monday.

Lorraine said he made the motion to defer the vote after hearing from other council members that more information could be presented before Monday. He said he supports the nomination but declined to comment further on the deferment.

Tommy Lasseigne is serving as interim parish administrator. No interim finance director has been named.

The council requested an opinion from the Lafourche District Attorney’s Office during the March 27 meeting about whether it has the authority to fire an interim administrator or department head.

According to an opinion by District Attorney Kristine Russell dated April 9, “interim administrator and department head appointments are subject to removal by a super majority (seven votes) of the council.”

Since the opinion was released, no motion has been made to remove anyone from those positions.

-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Julia Arenstam can be reached at 448-7636 or Follow her on Twitter at @gingerale214.