NEW IBERIA — Iberia Parish Council members on Wednesday voted unanimously to hire a labor attorney to advise them in advance of firings the incoming parish president intends to make.
Parish Council member Bernard Broussard said the council found out Tuesday that Parish President-elect Errol “Romo” Romero sent letters to four non-management employees notifying them that they will be fired after he takes office.
Romero was not present at the meeting.
Broussard said the lawyer will help the council determine if Romero and the council are following Louisiana labor law, the parish charter and the parish employee manual before any firings take place.
“I’m looking for some guidance,” Broussard said.
The employee manual lists 25 reasons for termination. The reasons for termination range from failing to perform work duties to breaking laws. The manual states that a reason for termination should be submitted to the human resources department prior to firing.
Broussard said two of the employees notified for possible termination work in the human resources department and the other two work in the public works department. He said he did not know if other employees had received termination notifications.
No labor attorney was chosen at the meeting.
Council legal adviser Eric Duplantis said he will recommend a few attorneys to the council. The council set a limit of $2,500 to be paid for the legal services.
Council members discussed the possibility that some parish government department heads could be terminated when Romero takes office.
Parish Council Chairman Roger Duncan said the plan is to have all newly elected members of the council sworn in at the Jan. 11 council meeting. He said he is not sure if Romero also will be sworn in at that time.
Romero could take the oath of office as early as Monday, Duncan said.