CLINTON — A majority of the East Feliciana Parish Police Jury temporarily thwarted the hiring of a parish code enforcement officer Tuesday that one juror said came close to the definition of “cronyism.”
Jurors were poised to name Leroy Jordan to the post, which became vacant with the recent resignation of Russ Hicks, but Juror Dwight Hill objected because the Personnel Committee, headed by Ed Brooks, interviewed only one of five applicants for the job.
That applicant turned down the job, however, and Brooks turned to Jordan, who had applied in February for a maintenance job or any other work the jury might have.
Hill said the committee should have interviewed the other people who applied for the vacant position instead of someone favored by Brooks or other jury officials.
Without a full application, Hill said, he does not know Jordan’s qualifications.
Parish Manager J.R. Rouchon said Jordan did apply for the job more recently than February.
“The guy called, said, ‘Put my name on the list.’ That’s all it takes,” Rouchon said.
The jury eventually voted to send the hiring back to the Personnel Committee to interview the other applicants.
“It amazes me why you didn’t interview everybody,” District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla said.
Earlier in the meeting, D’Aquilla tried to get the jury’s Finance Committee to acknowledge it held an unannounced meeting on June 11 at which a quorum of the nine-member jury assembled.
Committee Chairman Larry Beauchamp insisted the session was not a meeting because there was no agenda and the members took no action.
The district attorney said he had seen an email announcing the meeting, however.
“The parish manager is about to get you in a lot of trouble involving the (state) Open Meetings Law,” D’Aquilla said.
He said later that he is checking to see if the jury is complying with the law in the way it holds its committee meetings.