LIVINGSTON — The member of a Walker-area drainage board who lashed out at a recent meeting was removed from his post by a unanimous vote of the Livingston Parish Council on Thursday.
The Livingston Parish Council discussed the matter of Brent Clayton's appointment in private during a 25-minute executive session with Clayton and the drainage board chairman, Richard Harris. The Parish Council said the removal was "for cause."
Clayton was a member of the Livingston Parish Gravity Drainage District No. 5 board. He was under scrutiny after he blew up at the board's clerk and attorney during a meeting earlier this month.
Asked for comment after Thursday night's decision, Clayton said, "Nah. No comment."
At an Aug. 13 meeting, a member of the board asked to go into executive session to appoint a new chairman, according to an audio recording of the meeting obtained through a public records request. Clerk Stephanie Miller said it was not allowed by law.
Clayton reacted by telling Miller, "We're the board. We can do whatever we want." An argument ensued between the two.
Clayton also attacked the board's attorney, Blayne Honeycutt, over whether he was disbarred. Honeycutt said he is not, and the Louisiana Bar Association's website says he is in good standing.
When asked Wednesday about his comments, Clayton said in an interview that he had to "put her (the clerk) in her place."
After Thursday's meeting, Walker-area council member Tracy Girlinghouse said he voted to remove Clayton because he was alarmed by the board member's escalation of the situation.
"I do not believe his actions are in line with someone that I want representing me at the drainage district or this parish at any level," Girlinghouse said.
"What exactly is her place?" he asked, referencing Clayton's earlier published statements.
Girlinghouse said he appointed Clayton at the recommendation of a sitting board member.
Livingston-area council member Jeff Ard, who also makes an appointment to the board, said he thinks changes need to be made at the drainage district.
"This could be the only change we need to make. It doesn't seem to be run correctly," Ard said after the meeting. "They're not doing the work … to the satisfaction of what I think it should be."
Girlinghouse said he thinks the work is being done, but the board needs a brush-up on Robert's Rules of Order, the set of rules that governs public meetings.
Livingston Parish Gravity Drainage District No. 5 is responsible for cleaning and maintaining off-road drainage ditches in the Walker area.