City Council delays 4 appointments, including CFO that ex-controller called into question
Action came a day after the former city employee announced plans to sue the city
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Shreveport City Council members postponed four mayoral appointments Tuesday, Jan. 25.
With two council members absent, the vote was 5-0.
The action came a day after a former city controller announced plans to sue the city, claiming city officials violated various state laws and committed “financial improprieties.”
In doing so, S. Ben Hebert also asked that confirmation of interim CFO Kasey Brown as the city’s permanent CFO be postponed so the City Council can investigate Hebert’s allegations. Brown was among the four appointees up for consideration Tuesday.
Also delayed were the appointments of:
- Chris Elberson to the Metropolitan Planning Commission,
- Jazmin Jernigan to the Historical Preservation Commission, and,
- Shanerika Flemings as assistant city attorney serving as executive counsel to Mayor Adrian Perkins.
“I just wanted to get some definitive questions answered from the person who is asking to be confirmed,” said Councilman Jerry Bowman. “I got the information just before the council met yesterday. It was concerning if it was true and it was somewhat disturbing, but I need to dig into that and look into it also. We just want to look into it a little further.”
Councilman Grayson Boucher issued the following statement after Tuesday’s vote:
“With the recent allegations that have been raised about interim CFO Brown, I believe postponing his appointment is the right thing to do. With such serious allegations, it is in the city’s best interest to do an investigation into these serious allegations. The CFO is a critical part of city government and oversees over $400 million. Careful consideration and vetting of any candidate for this position is critical to the fiscal well-being of our city.”
Councilman James Green declined an interview, but Councilman John Nickelson provided a statement to KSLA, stating “Mr. Hebert’s allegations are serious, and the Council has a duty to address them before voting on Mr. Brown’s nomination to serve as the City’s chief financial officer.”
Hebert, the former controller, was fired by the city just days after he claims he refused to participate in financial improprieties he believes violated various state laws. Hebert said he reported these supposed violations to his supervisor and to Mayor Adrian Perkins.
Hebert claims 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.
A spokesperson for the mayor said he declined to comment.
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