CLINTON — An applicant for a job in the East Feliciana Parish Health Unit blasted the Police Jury’s Personnel Committee chairman Tuesday night, saying the jury acted illegally in hiring another person for the position.
Chairman Ed Brooks argued with Linda Siebert at the conclusion of the jury meeting, and earlier, Brooks said he was tabling a recommendation on hiring a parish manager.
The jury voted 4-3, with one juror absent and President Louis Kent not voting, on March 1 to hire Tiffany Gordon for the part-time position of clerk to Parish Sanitarian Brian Hurst.
Hurst asked the jury, in a March 2 letter, to reconsider the appointment, saying he is too busy to train a new employee. Hurst had recommended Siebert, saying he had worked with her for 15 years, and she had 31 years’ experience in the health and environmental fields.
Juror Glen Kent tried Tuesday to get the jury to reconsider the hiring, but no one seconded his motion.
Brooks told Siebert the committee had interviewed her, but Siebert said no one asked her any questions.
She said Brooks looked at her application, saw she is a retired state employee and remarked that she did not need a job.
“He said, ‘You can just go to the house and draw a check,’ ” she said.
Siebert said she draws retirement pay but also needs to supplement her income.
Brooks also had an exchange with former Parish Manager John Rouchon when the chairman said he was tabling a recommendation from the committee on Rouchon’s replacement.
“Have all the interviews been done?” asked Rouchon, who has applied to get his job back but was not interviewed.
“All of them have been done,” Brooks replied.
His committee held a meeting Friday with an agenda that included discussion of the parish manager vacancy, but the timing of the interviews was not clear from Brooks’ remarks.
When jurors began new four-year terms on Jan. 11, they decided against appointing Rouchon to another term. Barbara Vail has been acting as parish manager since then.
On another matter, jurors voted to advertise for three weeks for applications to serve on the board of commissioners of Gas Utility District 2, which serves the Ethel area.
The jury voted in December to appoint Johnny Strain to the commission, replacing Donna Allen.
Allen objected to the move, saying the jury never specified how long her term was to run when she was appointed.
The jury then voted in January to rescind Strain’s appointment and reappoint Allen, which prompted a lawsuit from Strain.
Judge William G. Carmichael, of the 20th Judicial District, ruled against Strain on Monday but also declared the seat vacant and said the jury can remove a commissioner at any time.
In another matter, parish Homeland Security Manager Bud Weigand reported that parish officials moved 32 families out of their flooded homes after last week’s heavy rains.