Barfield confirmed as La. revenue secretary

The Louisiana Senate on Thursday confirmed Gov. Bobby Jindal’s appointment of Tim Barfield as secretary of the state Department of Revenue.

State Sen. Karen Peterson, D-New Orleans, tried and failed to derail Barfield’s appointment, alleging “serious questions about truthfulness.”

Peterson, a Jindal administration critic, wanted to pull Barfield’s name from a list of other Jindal appointees who had cleared the Senate confirmation process. No one supported her motion.

Peterson complained about Jindal appointing Barfield as revenue secretary last August, then finding out the job didn’t pay as much as Barfield required. After that, Jindal named Barfield as the department’s executive counsel at $250,000 salary, she said.

The revenue secretary’s pay was $129,000 a year.

Peterson said the administration did not withdraw Barfield’s original appointment as secretary until Wednesday when a new appointment as secretary was made, Peterson said. Throughout the period, she said, Barfield “has been paid over and above what should have been paid.”

“This has been a shell game,” said Peterson

The legislatively-approved state budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 allows payment of up to $250,000 for the revenue secretary position.