PORT ALLEN — The City Council plans to hear on Oct. 12 from a resident who has filed a complaint with the Police Department accusing a Port Allen police officer of harassing people.
Near the end of the council’s schedule of committee meetings Wednesday, Nikisha Joseph asked to speak on the matter, even though she was not listed on the Governmental Affairs Committee meeting agenda.
Mayor Pro-Tem Ralph Bergeron said since the item was not on the agenda and the officer was not notified of the matter and not present, the panel could not discuss the issue publicly.
City Attorney Victor Woods said city officials could not discuss the matter publicly until they speak with Joseph’s attorney.
Joseph said that she has spoken to Police Chief Fred Smith about the matter. Smith did not attend Wednesday’s meeting.
Other business coming before the council included:
VACATION PAY: The council voted to hear from former Police Chief Harry Brown on Oct. 12 to discuss unused accrued vacation pay Brown said he is owed. Brown’s request follows a similar request made by former Mayor Derek Lewis, who resigned earlier this year before pleading guilty to a federal racketeering charge.
City Council members, during their Sept. 14 meeting, voted 3-2 against paying Lewis about $19,000 he claims he is owed as a former full-time city employee.
Mayor Pro-Tem Bergeron has said he cannot vote to pay Lewis without written documentation proving the city owes the pay.
The former mayor said he plans to sue the city to recover the funds.
HUMAN RESOURCES: While the council has discussed employee vacation pay several times this year, Councilwoman Ray Helen Lawrence has been persistent in calling for the creation of a human resources department.
Ross Rushing of workforce consultant Automatic Data Processing made a presentation to the council Wednesday on how his company could provide human resources services to the city.
Currently, the city has a casual timekeeping system and one employee responsible for keeping track of payrolls, retirements and job benefits, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Cenceria Dalcourt has said.
The council decided to discuss during the Oct. 12 meeting the issue of possibly contracting with ADP for human resources services.