Dove’s proposed rec director meets Parish Council

Terrebonne Parish President Gordon Dove’s choice of a new director for the parish’s recreation department was formally introduced to Parish Council members last week.

But council members provided Roddy Lerille with more information than the candidate himself gave to them, during a brief period of questioning that revealed little about how he plans to steer the department once he takes the reins.

Lerille did say that with no rules at the recreation department, as he understands the current state of TPR, his own experience in private sector management will serve as a guide for departmental reconstruction.

Currently a human resources executive at C&G Boats, a Golden Meadow marine firm, Lerille told council members about his early exposure to Terrebonne Parish Recreation and its programs as a youngster, and about his experience as a coach and teacher as well as his experiences in private sector management.

“The recreation department doesn’t any plans in place,” Lerille said, answering preliminary questions from Council Chairman Steve Trosclair. “The management system I have been working with for the past eleven years is based on education, training, reiterating and evaluation. Based on these principals we can apply that to anything, wherever, and hold people accountable.”

What Lerille does not appear willing to do is be accountable on the fly regarding his position as the candidate-in-chief for the essential and currently embattled position.

Reached by telephone at his job Monday morning, Lerille refused to answer questions about minor discrepancies between the resume he presented with his application for the job and the one that was presented to parish council members.

The changes involve simple turns of phrase in three instances.

The phrase “staff development and training” appears added to the resume, in its “Key Skills” portion, as well as “policies and procedure manuals.” Neither appears in the original. Also added to the version council members saw was a reference to experience in bookkeeping and payroll. The resume on file with the parish as part of Lerille’s application states that he was a past board member of Lockport Biddy Basketball, but no reference to board member status is included with the resume presented to the Parish Council.

Why the changes were made or by whom is not clear. A public records request related to the document was filed with the parish, and acknowledged. As of Monday a substantive response had not been returned.

Lerille himself refused to answer two questions about the resume change, whether he had changed it and if so why.

Parish President Dove reiterated his confidence in Lerille at the Parish Council meeting, reminding council members of the experience in management his pick has, as well as familiarity with Terrebonne recreation.

During his brief appearance last Wednesday Lerille acknowledged that he has heard of some of the problems the department faces, noting that it is limited to “what I have read in the papers and take that for what it is worth.”

Councilwoman Christa Duplantis-Prather noted that in her experience the involvement of females has not been balanced with that of males and that she hopes this will change. Councilman Al Marmande congratulated Lerille on his appointment by Dove, expressing hope that he will be able to unravel the department’s problems.

Ironically, however or by whom the minor changes to Lerille’s resume were made would in all actuality have no effect on the Council’s choice to approve his nomination or not, a decision that will be made next week.

In most cases executive branch appointments are approved unless there is a major reason why they should not.

The recreation department is currently under investigation by the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office in connection with the apparent loss of money — or failure for it to be documented — after the 2017 Babe Ruth League regional softball tournament. The parish was to have received all gate fees but what records have been examined by auditors and now detectives, according to various interviews and documents reviewed by The Time do not reflect the existence of the money.

A search for a new TPR director began after its former chief resigned, in the wake of allegations that he had knowledge of a former coach facing a human trafficking charge being allowed around children during department events.

“I felt comfortable with him,” Parish President Dove said of Lerille when he introduced his choice to the Council. “I sent his name to the selection committee and they vetted him. He has administrative skills, purchasing skills … he is the gentleman that can get it done.”

Gordon Dove