Former Shreveport controller plans to sue city for discrimination, claims city engaging in ‘financial improprieties’
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - A former city controller for Shreveport is planning to sue the city, claiming city officials violated various state laws and committed “financial improprieties.”
S. Ben Hebert was fired by the city just days after he claims he refused to participate in financial improprieties he believes violated various state laws. Hebert says he reported these supposed violations to his supervisor and to Mayor Adrian Perkins. Hebert is claiming he was discriminated against based on age and race; he also claims his firing was in retaliation for opposing discrimination and for his “whistleblowing” activities.
Allison Jones, who represents Hebert, released the following statement Monday, Jan. 24:
“Mr. Hebert has been denied promotions due to his age and race and has continuously refused to participate in and to continuously report financial transactions which he believes are in violation of state law. It is abundantly clear that the termination of his employment was retaliatory for his protected activity. The termination of Mr. Hebert’s employment within days of his reporting and refusing to participate in what he believes are financial improprieties and shortly following his complaints of discrimination makes the termination decision highly suspicious and should cause the City Council to ask some serious questions of the Mayor and the current Interim Chief Financial Officer.”
Hebert is requesting that the confirmation of the city’s interim CFO, Kasey Brown, be postponed so the city council can investigate these allegations. Brown is set to be confirmed as the city’s permanent CFO on Jan. 25.
“Mr. Hebert is calling on the City Council to do the right thing and take its time and conduct due diligence before placing Mr. Brown in such an important position on a permanent basis,” Jones said.
“It takes courage to blow the whistle on actions a public official believes to violate state law. Mr. Hebert had demonstrated that courage, and the City’s leaders should listen to what he has to say before making significant hiring decisions and/or condoning retaliation,” Jones continued.
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