CATS management questioned by one councilwomen, defended by others _lowres

Advocate staff file photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle

Lon Norris is currently the City Court Clerk of Court. He also serves as the judicial administrator. He is expected to retire August 22. The position is currently appointed by a vote of the five City Court judges.

City Court handles mostly traffic violations, misdemeanors and small claims issues.

But Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle said Baton Rouge city voters should decide, not the judges. She is asking the Metro Council to pass a resolution asking the city court judges to hold off on appointing Norris’s replacement until the council can seek a change in the plan of government to make the position elected.

Marcelle noted that the Clerk of Court for the 19th Judicial District Court is an elected position — currently held by Doug Welborn, so the City Court Clerk of Court position should be as well.

Across the state, parish clerks of court are typically elected. But few, if any, city court administrators are elected.

In anticipation of Norris’s departure, he called a meeting of the five city court judges to discuss the possibility of promoting the deputy judicial administrator Lynn Maloy as his successor.

However, two of the judges did not participate in the vote. So no successor was appointed.