Port Allen CFO asks judge to hold mayor in contempt

PORT ALLEN — Chief Financial Officer Audrey McCain has asked a state district judge to hold Mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter in contempt of court, according to documents filed April 4 in 18th Judicial District Court.

McCain charges that Slaughter has disobeyed a court order issued to prevent the mayor from interfering in McCain’s daily job responsibilities.

McCain’s petition, filed by Baton Rouge attorney Seth Dornier, accuses Slaughter of ignoring District Judge Alvin Batiste’s Feb. 20 preliminary injunction blocking Slaughter from taking adverse employment actions against McCain. The judge issued the injunction after he nullified the mayor’s Feb. 11 attempt to fire McCain.

McCain informs the court that she repeatedly has been publicly accused of malfeasance in the aftermath of Batiste’s ruling.

McCain declined to comment further Tuesday on her contempt filing.

But according to the contempt request, McCain says Slaughter:

  • Made false allegations against McCain in a formal civil rights complaint Slaughter sent to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
  • Has delegated some Mayor’s Office “non-delegable” duties to her brother-in-law, Ralph Slaughter, currently acting in a volunteer capacity as city government’s chief of staff, a position Slaughter created when she tried to fire McCain.
  • Had a third party reconfigure McCain’s work computer so that confidential and proprietary city information that McCain emailed was sent also to unknown persons she did not list as recipients.
  • Excluded McCain from department head meetings and budget preparations.
  • Instructed city officials and other department heads not to cooperate with McCain regarding annual budget preparations.
  • Failed to give McCain the keys to her own desk or keys to filing cabinets in her office.
  • Has caused the city to breach its state contract for the purchase of a new vehicle for the Fire Department by withholding payment for the vehicle.

Slaughter has said she fired McCain, who also serves as the city municipal clerk, because of accounting deficiencies cited in an audit report of the city’s financial records for fiscal year 2011.

Judge Batiste ruled Feb. 20 the mayor lacked the authority to dismiss McCain without City Council approval because McCain is a city government department head.

Slaughter wrote City Attorney Victor Woods on Tuesday that McCain allegedly had been trying to act as the city’s mayor by no longer attending staff meetings, not providing detailed revenue reports the mayor requested and presenting proposed budget adjustments to the City Council without first discussing them with the mayor.

Slaughter advised Woods that she disputes all the claims against her that McCain listed in her contempt petition to Judge Batiste.

“I am requesting that you seek sanctions from the court for the frivolous representations that she has made in her petition,” Slaughter wrote. “None of these allegations have anything to do with her being able to do her job. She and certain council members want to control the Mayor’s Office.”

Batiste has not set a court date to hear the contempt filing, but New Roads attorney Cy D’Aquilla, who represents McCain along with Dornier, said Tuesday a status conference to set a trial date for a permanent injunction against the mayor has been set for April 30.

D’Aquilla said the judge will most likely hear arguments on McCain’s contempt filing during the April 30 status conference.