CLINTON — The East Feliciana Police Jury voted 6-2 Monday to hire Hollis Glen Kent Jr. as parish manager.
Kent will take over the position following the retirement of Judith G. Kelly, who plans to retire at the end of September. She has been with the Police Jury for 37 years.
Voting for Kent were jurors Edward L. Brooks, Jason McCray, W. Keith Mills, G. Dwight Hill, Karl “Bubba” Chaney and Louis J. Kent.
Abstaining were jurors Chris Hall and Larry Beauchamp.
Both Hall and Beauchamp said they believed the Monday night vote was illegal. The two jurors said the parish governing body had requested an attorney general’s opinion after the personnel committee was unable to make a recommendation because of a tie between two applicants.
At a later personnel committee meeting, however, one member changed his vote, breaking the tie and leading to the recommendation of Kent.
Juror Louis Kent is not related to the new parish manager, but juror Dwight Hill’s wife is a cousin of Kent. Hill said he was cleared by the state Ethics Commission to make certain his support of the candidate would not be a conflict of interest.
Kent served as the parish director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness in 2007.
Kent is a lawyer and professional land surveyor. He is a retired U.S. Marine but was activated for Operation Iraq Freedom as a military intelligence officer from February 2003 to July 2004.
In other Police Jury business:
JURY CHANGES TAX VOTE: Following a lengthy discussion with 25 members of the East Feliciana business community, jurors voted unanimously to exempt parish businesses from sales taxes collected on out-of-state manufacturing repairs.
The motion by jurors Chaney and McCray also includes exempting parish businesses from collecting the taxes from May 2010 to June 30, 2012.
Legal adviser Sam D’Aquilla said the taxes were originally exempt for a three-year period in 2007-2010, but a “mistake” caused the School Board, Police Jury and local businesses to overlook the tax from 2010 to the present.
Jurors first voted earlier in the meeting to table the motion until its next meeting in two weeks, but after pressure from business owners, jurors agreed to exempt the tax.