Port Allen mayor-elect: Desire for change won

Mayor-elect Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter said Monday she believes the community’s need for change was a main factor in her win Saturday in the runoff election against incumbent Roger Bergeron.

Slaughter defeated Bergeron by capturing 55 percent of the votes cast, according to unofficial results from the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office.

According to the results, 1,444 votes were cast for Slaughter and 1,166 for Bergeron.

“People were just really tired of all the negative things that were happening in Port Allen,” Slaughter said Monday. “We had all this negative publicity come through here recently because of a decision (Bergeron) made.”

Slaughter was referring to the recent appointment of convicted felon Adrian Genre as the city’s chief administrative officer.

Bergeron recommended Genre to the City Council for approval in June.

Bergeron’s decision received a storm of criticism from black community leaders who accused the mayor of racism during a City Council meeting.

Genre pleaded guilty in 2000 to perjuring himself in a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the city and the Police Department during his tenure as police chief.

The lawsuit claimed that only black people were given a written literacy test during the Police Department’s interview process.

Genre admitted in July 2000 that he lied when he gave a sworn statement that a white applicant had taken the same written test at the same time and under the same circumstances as a black applicant for a job with the department. While Genre hired the white applicant, he did not give him the test until four months later — after the black applicant filed the lawsuit.

Genre was forced to resign as chief in August 2000.

“That really stirred the pot with the community as a whole,” Slaughter said. “People didn’t want to go down that path again for four years.”

When asked Monday what contributed to his loss Saturday, Bergeron simply replied, “No comment.”

Slaughter said she has not heard from Bergeron since she won the election, but intended to reach out to him later this week.

“I thought he would have given me a call,” she said. “When he won last year I reached out to him to congratulate him!”

During her campaign, Slaughter said establishing better policies with human resources would be her priority if elected.

Slaughter declined to say Monday whether she will make any administrative changes once she takes office in January.

When asked to describe what her tenure as mayor will be like, Slaughter used the words “improvement” and “unity.”

The mayor-elect said she is anxious to review the city’s budget and plans to ask for an audit so she has an accurate picture of Port Allen’s finances.

Slaughter said she is also looking forward to working with Port Allen’s Police Chief-elect Esdron Brown, who said he will work toward making the community safer and drug free.

“I think he has some good ideas, and I believe with his concern as well as mine, we’ll be able to work together in that area,” Slaughter said.