Port Allen mayor urges supporters to ‘keep marching’
PORT ALLEN — A group leading a drive to remove Mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter from office submitted a 250-page recall petition Tuesday to the West Baton Rouge Parish Registrar of Voters.
Slaughter quickly responded, saying she remains committed to moving the city forward despite the recall effort, and urged her supporters to “keep marching.”
Recall committee members had submitted a letter Wednesday to Stacy Ryan, the parish Registrar of Voters, giving official notice they would deliver the recall petition around 8 a.m. Tuesday.
The committee’s chairwomen, Deloris Kibby and Millie Ann Jackson, led a group of about a dozen Port Allen residents into the Registrar’s Office to turn over to Ryan a thick packet containing more than 1,400 signatures.
The recall committee was required by state law to obtain at least 1,270 signatures, a figure amounting to a minimum of one-third of the city’s qualified voters as of June 7, the date the committee filed a copy of its recall petition with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office.
“We’re only halfway there,” Kibby told reporters after delivering the signed petition. “The ones that signed this petition apparently love Port Allen as much as I do. I hope we can continue getting their help.”
Kibby added, “I don’t have anything against Demetric. God loves her and I love her. I just don’t love what she’s doing in City Hall.”
Slaughter issued a written statement in response to the delivery of the petition signatures to the Registrar’s Office, affirming that she remains committed to moving the city forward despite the recall committee’s efforts to remove her from office.
“I say to my supporters and to the citizens of Port Allen today, if we must keep marching to the polls to bring about change in Port Allen City Hall, then let us keep marching,” Slaughter’s statement says.
The mayor’s statement accused the five-member City Council’s three white members — R.J. Loupe, Garry Hubble and Hugh “Hootie” Riviere — of leading the recall effort to oust her from office.
All three councilmen had denied any involvement with the recall drive until last week, when Hubble and Riviere admitted to signing the petition after five city employees quit their jobs within a month’s span, each of them accusing Slaughter of creating a hostile working environment.
“The filing of this petition does not come as a surprise,” Slaughter’s statement continues. “These three council members have been working from the day I took office to control City Hall. The City of Port Allen is a Lawrason Act municipality with the executive and administrative duties vested in the office of the mayor.”
The Registrar’s Office now has 15 working days to certify the signatures before the petition is sent to the Governor’s Office.
The Governor’s Office will then have another 15 days to decide on a date to hold an election to recall the mayor.
The recall petition signatures were turned in just eight months into Slaughter’s first term as mayor. During that time, Slaughter has been involved in a string of controversies since she took office on Jan. 1, such as:
- Her decision to hire her brother-in-law, Ralph Slaughter, as her non-salaried chief of staff.
- Her attempt to fire city Chief Financial Officer Audrey McCain in February.
- A court fight with Councilmen Loupe, Hubble and Riviere, who asserted in a lawsuit that Slaughter had exceeded her executive powers of “supervision and direction” in municipal affairs.
- Slaughter’s $2,500 trip at city taxpayers’ expense to Washington, D.C., to attend President Barack Obama’s inauguration coupled with her actions in handing herself a $20,000 annual raise shortly after her inauguration