An attempt to ask for the resignation of Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph was withdrawn Tuesday night at the Parish Council public meeting in Mathews when sponsors of a resolution requesting that she step down was pulled by its authors.
The resolution, proposed by Councilmen Jerry Jones, Daniel Lorraine, and Jerry Lafont, requested that Randolph resign “due to her violating state ethics laws by renting her camp to BP.”
A recent Louisiana State Ethics Board ruling is requiring that Randolph repay $50,000 which she received as a result of renting her Grand Isle camp to British Petroleum after the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf, and an additional $10,000 in penalties.
Randolph is appealing the ruling.
Tuesday’s resolution was moved into consideration by Jones and seconded by Lafont.
Members of the public were allowed to speak first.
Nicholas Cheramie of Golden Meadow offered a Houma Today article which quoted Randolph as saying that she decided to rent the camp after taking advice from friends and “other officials” who had done the same.
Cheramie then asked Randolph to name the “officials” she was referring to in the article, saying it was her duty to report others who are in violation of ethics laws. Randolph refused to comment.
Larry Weidel, a Cut Off resident, spoke on behalf of Randolph, calling her a person of integrity and a friend for 31 years.
“I think there’s a lot to be done in Lafourche. We should get on with the business of running the parish,” he said.
To the resolution’s sponsors, Weidel paraphrased a biblical reference, saying “those who are without sin should cast the first stone.”
John Arnold called Randolph “the best Parish President we’ve seen in a long time. She’s done one hell of a job, and it would be wrong to lose her right before hurricane season.”
Councilman Joe Fertitta also spoke against the resolution, saying that “there is a mechanism for this; it’s called ‘due process.’ This is a resolution that has no force of law. I will not participate in even validating this with a vote. I’ll be absent.”
Fertitta walked out of the chambers, followed by Arnold.
Mike Delatte also walked out but gave comment before exiting.
“This is not a criminal violation, but an ethics violation. We are not elected to be judge and jury,” he stated.
At this point, Lafont removed his second and Jones removed his motion, pulling the resolution from the agenda.
Posted on Sun, April 14, 2013