Lt. Gov.-elect Billy Nungesser: 'I'm not giving anybody a pink slip' _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Lt. Gov. candidates Billy Nungesser, left, and Kip Holden, right, speak at the BR Press Club.

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Lt. Gov.-elect Billy Nungesser visited his soon-to-be state offices Monday, assuring employees they would still have a job after his January inauguration if they wanted it.

“I’m not going in there and cleaning house. That doesn’t benefit anybody,” Nungesser said. “I’m not giving anybody a pink slip. I’m going to call every one of them personally and tell them I have no intention of getting rid of anybody.”

Nungesser said he may bring a couple of people who worked in his campaign to Baton Rouge, but “I’m not in a hurry to make any decisions.”

He said some employees are retiring.

Republican Nungesser, a two-term Plaquemines Parish president, won Saturday’s runoff election over Democratic Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden.

On Monday, Nungesser met with out-going Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne as he began transition planning. He said he will set aside three days soon to return to Baton Rouge for discussions with officials about the top three things the office should concentrate its energies on.

“There’s not a lot of good news in the budget cuts (to the Office of Culture, Recreation and Tourism). They have clearly impacted tourism,” Nungesser said. “I’ve still got to put a plan together to restore some of these cuts. We can’t allow them.”

Nungesser said he won’t accept the 24-7 State Police security detail to which he is entitled as the No. 2 statewide official.

“I don’t think it’s necessary,” Nungesser said. “Let them go protect the people of Louisiana. If there’s a special event I’ll request one. I figure that’s dollars better spent.”

Nungesser said he’ll take a break next week fulfilling a promise he made to his wife Cher to go on vacation after the election. The couple will go on a Hawaiian cruise.