Fired S'port city inspectors put back on job

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Three Shreveport inspectors arrested for their alleged part in defrauding a city department and later fired by the city now have their jobs back.

The city's Personnel Board reinstated Jackie Mandigo, Ray Jones, and Daniel LaCour Thursday. The three Office of Community Development inspectors can go back to work on Monday, October 19.

On August 31, Mandigo, Jones and LaCour, along with four independent contractors, were arrested by the Caddo Sheriff's Office. Investigators say the contractors were charged with filing false public records for allegedly signing off on home repairs which were never completed or never started.

At least two city council members expressed anger after learning of the decision. Councilman Ron Webb said the reinstatement is way too premature and should not have happened before the allegations against the inspectors was resolved. Webb also said he planned to file an immediate appeal, and that the decision is disrespectful to the sheriff's investigators. Attempts to contact Sheriff Steve Prator were unsuccessful.

Councilwoman Joyce Bowman said "... the City of Shreveport is an absolute joke."

Councilman Bryan Wooley also spoke out against the decision. "I and my colleges, we were appalled and disgusted at the fact that these individuals have been reinstated to their jobs before they even go to trial. I know when it comes to police and their investigations, when someone is on a leave of absence, they can't be reinstated until they go through the judicial process."

In a news release from the mayor's office, the Personnel Board reversed the firings because "... the City's evidence in support of the terminations was insufficient ... ."

Jones and Mandigo will return to work and receive back pay. LaCour was only given his job back.

The mayor's office said city officials and City Attorney Terri Scott will meet Friday to discuss the board's decision.

Scott is a member of the city's Personnel Board. Attempts to contact Scott Thursday night were unsuccessful.

©2009 KSLA-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.