BR.metrocouncil.061517 HS 233.JPG

EBR Council on Aging Board Chairwoman Jennifer Moisant, left, speaks with EBR Council on Aging Executive Director Tasha Clark-Amar after addressing the Metro Council, June 14, 2017, at City Hall in downtown Baton Rouge, La.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

This is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help me God. I would imagine that most people in the Baton Rouge area don’t know what to believe about Tasha Clark-Amar and the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging. You turn on your television, and on one station, you see all the good that she and the COA have done for seniors. If you turn to the next station, a reporter is insinuating that she planned to swindle a senior out of her savings. What is the truth? Why believe anything I say?

I worked directly alongside Clark-Amar for years as her executive assistant and reluctantly resigned last year to answer another call to service. I will say this now, and I would gladly say it again in court, under oath. Helen Plummer, who I lovingly called “Dear,” asked Clark-Amar to be the executrix of her estate because she didn’t “know anyone else [she could] trust” to ensure her estate went to her minor great-grandchildren. Clark-Amar reluctantly agreed, but only with the understanding that she did not want any compensation for, as she put it, “Just signing a few checks a year.”

Honestly, many at the COA had no idea of the size of Plummer's estate. On numerous occasions, staff would pick Plummer up and bring her to the senior center because, as she said, “I don’t have a ride.” This was a fact that I found astonishing when I learned she lived near family members.

It has also been said, “Clark-Amar used her agency email to help arrange the will.” I sent the email in question from Clark-Amar’s EBR COA Outlook to Professor Dorothy Jackson. Clark-Amar had been out on vacation, and Plummer asked that I get the correct spelling of her minor great-grandchildren’s names to Jackson. Plummer said while at the Law Clinic, she “didn’t have the correct spelling.”

Our Views: Clark-Amar files 'bully' lawsuit over will scandal, but we all know who's to blame

Plummer gave me the names on a scrap of white paper. After I sent the email, I followed the rest of her instructions. She told me to put that same paper “back in my hand.” Afterward, she thanked me because she was “worried that it wouldn’t get to them.” I assumed she meant the names written on the scrap of paper. Those who read this probably don’t know me from Adam. Critics of Clark-Amar and the EBR COA will say that I am biased, but know this: I was raised by a large family in a small town. I know the value of hard work, and I was taught that a man whose word could not be relied upon was no man at all!

Tasha Clark-Amar might very well be guilty of trying to help others to her own detriment, but she would never behave as others have accused.

Jay Blackmon-Williams

public administrator