Move comes after firing of center director
An effort to remove East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Councilwoman Chauna Banks-Daniel from office has officially kicked off.
Donald Ray Adams, a Scotlandville resident who lives a couple streets from Banks-Daniel, filed the necessary paper work Thursday to start the petition drive.
Adams was joined by James Slaughter, whose brother Carl Slaughter, was recently fired by Banks-Daniel from his longtime position as the director of the Jewel J. Newman Community Center.
The two have different issues with the councilwoman.
Adams says Banks-Daniel is unresponsive to her constituents who try to reach out to her for various district problems; Slaughter is defending his brother, who worked at the community center for 34 years.
Slaughter said his brother was unfairly fired so Banks-Daniel could employ a political crony.
Banks-Daniel said Thursday the two are bitter over their own political aspirations.
James Slaughter ran against her in the Metro Council race last year, while Adams worked for the campaign of another candidate who ran against her, Corey Alfred.
Opponents of Banks-Daniel have 180 days to collect signatures from one-third of registered voters in the district.
As of Thursday there were 21,513 registered voters in District 2, so Adams and Slaughter will need at least 7,171 verified signatures. Once the signatures are verified, the governor can declare a recall election to determine whether Banks-Daniel will be removed.
Adams said he has sewer problems in his yard, and there are overgrown properties, mosquitoes and other issues in the district.
He said he frequently calls Banks-Daniel’s office — sometimes three times a week — but has never received a call back.
“The district is not being looked after like it should,” Adams said. “If we don’t have anyone to represent us, why have her in the seat?”
Carl Slaughter’s recent dismissal from the community center has generated a lot of attention from his supporters and friends in the community.
His brother said they will be a critical part of the recall effort.
“(Carl) had an unblemished record, and there was no reason for her to throw him out on the street,” James Slaughter said.
Carl Slaughter could not be reached for comment, but his attorney, Jill Craft, said she filed an appeal of his dismissal with the city-parish personnel board. Craft contends Banks-Daniel, a councilwoman of 10 months, did not have the authority to fire James Slaughter because he is a classified civil service employee.
The Parish Attorney’s Office and the mayor have disagreed, saying the Metro Council members control the personnel at their respective community centers. Craft said she intents to file a court petition seeking a declaratory judgment as to who has the authority to fire her client.
Banks-Daniel said when she took office she wanted to make her community center more accountable, and she “simply could not get the center director to work with her.”
“I’ve tried to do the right thing and I don’t believe the majority of people will let a personnel issue influence their opinion,” she said.