Gordon Dove

Terrebonne Parish President Gordon Dove has chosen Golden Meadow boat company manager Roddy Lerille to be the new recreation director for Terrebonne Parish, replacing resigned director Sterling Washington.

In a letter to parish council members and other officials, Dove said he made the choice “after a lengthy search by myself and a selection team.”

Lerille has served in various volunteer athletic coaching positions and is currently the personnel manager at C&G Boats, a Golden Meadow marine transportation company.

“I was searching for someone who has administrative, operational, human resources, budgeting, purchasing and business skills, and safety training with some coaching experience,” Dove said.

Lerille’s application -- one of more than 30 -- was passed over by the committee Dove appointed during their narrowing process. That meant he also was not chosen to be in the top three recommendations submitted by the committee to Dove.

They had chosen Landon Tims, director of parks and recreation for the city of Bogalusa, Ellender Memorial High head football coach David McCormick and Southwest Mississippi College football coach DeMorrius Jones.

Lerille was interviewed by the committee at the request of Dove, and so added to the list of potentials. Dove had privately interviewed Lerille, and had also privately interviewed other finalists.

If approved by the council, Lirelle will oversee a $2 million annual budget. The salary range for the job is roughly between $68,000 and $119,000 per year.

The agency, along with two parish recreation districts are undergoing audits ordered by Dove in the face of various alleged improprieties. Recreation districts are independent entities with their own budgets and authority to levy taxes.

Washington, Dove said, voluntarily resigned his position. The agency is also implicated in a criminal investigation involving disappearance -- or lack of posting -- gate receipts from a 2017 softball tournament that was supposed to go to the arish.

Total reform of TPR, Dove said “should have been done a decade ago.”

“My administration will continue to work to improve TPR and the recreation boards whenever possible,” Dove said in his letter. “This is about the children of Terrebonne Parish’s quality of life and of course their safety and well-being.”

Senior Staff Writer John DeSantis is a veteran journalist and author who grew up in New York City, but has spent most of his career in the Bayou Region. A specialist in criminal justice, he enjoys boating and historical research.

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