Juror calls for chairman’s removal

Pointe Coupee Parish Police Juror Justin Cox said Friday he has asked for the removal of Juror Clifford “Ted” Nelson as chairman of the jury’s Public Utility Committee and for an audit of the parish’s payroll system after learning a part-time worker remained on the public payroll for two years after the Police Jury abolished the position.

Cox said he submitted his requests to Jury President Melanie Bueche through several emails between Jan. 24 and Thursday.

Cox said he based his complaint on Nelson’s admission during the Jan. 22 Police Jury meeting that he had a hand in allowing the part-time employee, identified by Cox as Patrice Greenhouse, to continue on the parish payroll after the jury nullified her job in August 2010.

The jury, during its Jan. 22 meeting, agreed to temporarily block Greenhouse from clocking any more hours.

The jury’s Personnel Committee, however, decided Thursday night to recommend reinstating the part-time position on the grounds Greenhouse was an asset to the Utility Department. The Police Jury will vote on the recommendation at its Feb. 26 meeting.

Greenhouse could not be located for comment Friday evening.

Cox said Friday that Bueche never responded to his Jan. 24 email, or any others he sent related to the matter.

Bueche did not return calls from The Advocate to her cellphone Friday afternoon for comment.

Cox sent Bueche another email Thursday night requesting an audit of the parish’s payroll system after Nelson claimed during a Personnel Committee meeting the same day there was another part-time employee working for the parish without jury approval. Cox did not identify the employee.

Cox said Friday he also has filed complaints with the state’s Attorney General’s Office, Louisiana Board of Ethics and the state’s Legislative Auditor questioning the legality of Nelson’s actions.

Nelson said Friday he thinks Cox “is mad we didn’t vote him in as president.”

“If I did something wrong, I should be removed,” Nelson added, “but I know I didn’t do anything wrong.”