Caddo Commission President responds to restraining order over NLCOG seat

Published: Feb. 16, 2016 at 3:17 AM CST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2016 at 4:04 AM CST
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CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Caddo Parish Commission President Matthew Linn will be in court Tuesday morning responding to a restraining order attorney John Settle filed and a judge signed.

The restraining order keeps Linn from participating in the Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (NLCOG).

Settle filed a suit against Linn saying it was illegal for Linn to appoint himself to NLCOG without the commission's permission.

In response to the suit, Linn argues that he sought advice from the parish clerk about what was necessary to take the NLCOG board seat. The message was reportedly forwarded to the parish attorney who responded with, "Re-reading the resolution, there is no letter needed to designate anyone, since the resolution states 'President or his designee.'

On Jan. 28, Linn appointed Robert Dunlap as his designate to the NLCOG Board on Jan. 28. But on Jan. 29, Linn rescinded the appointment of Dunlap because of the criteria of board membership and noted that as Commission President, he would sit on the NLCOG board.

In his documented response, Linn stated, "Caddo Parish and the City of Shreveport fund approximately 67% of NLCOG's budget. Who better to oversee their actions than a duty elected parish official?"

But Settle argues that any appointment made by NLCOG Director - including self-appointment - requires ratification of the commission.

Settle wants a temporary restraining order without further notice and without bond to prohibit Linn from exercising any duties as an NLCOG director until his appointment is ratified by the Caddo Commission.

The NLCOG is an intergovernmental association of local governments established to assist in planning for common needs, cooperating for the mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development.

Linn is expected to appear before Judge Ramon Lafitte at 9:30 a.m. at the Caddo Parish Courthouse on Tuesday, Feb. 16 to argue his side.

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