The attorney for Carl Slaughter, the longtime director of the Jewel J. Newman Community Center, says she plans to appeal his firing by Metro Council member Chauna Banks-Daniel.
Slaughter’s attorney, Jill Craft, said Thursday an appeal to the city-parish Personnel Board could be filed by Friday and the matter also could end up in court.
Slaughter’s termination was effective Wednesday, parish attorney Kim Brooks said.
The termination comes in the wake of a battle between Banks-Daniel, elected last year, and Slaughter, who has served as director at the Scotlandville facility for more than 30 years.
Slaughter has claimed Banks-Daniel wanted him out in order to put a political crony in the job, and because his brother, James Slaughter, ran against Banks-Daniel last year for the Metro Council seat.
Banks-Daniel has said she wants to improve the operations of the community center and ensure the facility’s leader is accountable.
The firing also comes after a recent Fire Marshal’s inspection that revealed code violations that forced the closure of the west side of the community center.
Banks-Daniel had also asked Slaughter to remove all photos in the center’s lobby because of the cluttered appearance.
Over the past three decades, Slaughter has said, he has posted from community photos and other memorabilia from weddings, funerals, birthday parties and reunions.
The removal of those photos prompted a protest from some residents.
Craft said she anticipates filing a request in state district court to address a fundamental question surrounding the firing: does Banks-Daniel have the authority to fire Slaughter?
Craft’s stance is Banks-Daniel does not and only Mayor-President Kip Holden can fire Slaughter because he is a classified civil service employee.
Slaughter is the lone community center director who is a classified employee in the city-parish civil service system. In 2011, the Metro Council moved control of the community centers from the Mayor-President’s Office to the individual council members.
Dawn Guillot, director of administration for the Parish Attorney’s Office, said last month that Slaughter now must answer to Banks-Daniel as a result of the 2011 change.
Holden said Thursday that Craft is wrong and he has nothing to do with the process how the community centers are run.
“As long as she (Banks-Daniel) goes through the civil service process correctly, that’s all that has to be done,” Holden said. “I don’t have anything to do with it. Community Centers are run by Metro Council members now.”
Banks-Daniel refused Thursday to comment on the matter. Slaughter couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday, but James Slaughter said in an email that his brother didn’t want to make any public comments about what happened.