Two different matters pooped up at the April 23 Lafourche Parish council meeting, leaving questions on who may be directing the parish community action agency.
Councilman Daniel Lorraine asked if Stacy Savoy was still in charge of Community Action.
Parish Administrator Timothy Vedros said Savoy was not, but instead Connie Duet, the parish finance director is in charge.
Lorraine, seemingly puzzled said, "Connie is in charge of Community Action? Well I have something here that says differently."
He then read a copy of an email which was a request from Savoy to all employees, asking if they were interested in having summer youth workers placed in their departments, which would begin on June 3.
"Who hired these young adults? Was there any drug testing? Any orientation?" Lorraine asked.
Vedros replied, "Well I will look into it, but Ms. Duet is the director for now."
Lorraine said, "Now don't lie. We know you a Deacon and you have to remember the Ten Commandments."
Vedros replied, "I have no reason to, and I will look into it."
Lorraine then provided other emails, one from Parish Risk Manager Brent Abadie to help out with filing and other administrative tasks, and another from Wayne Bruce asking for a student worker in the Galliano office.
Then he provided an email from Kristy Chiasson, Human Resources Manager, which told all employees to use her email instead of the one from Savoy, about the availability of student workers. This was a formal email, announcing the job description of the workers, and their ages, as well as income requirements.
Again, Vedros said he would look into Lorraine's concerns.
Later, in a related matter, during Legislative Auditor Reggie Bagala's bi-monthly report, Bagala told the council that the calendar of events on the parish website was empty on the community services website, and it did not contain any information about recreation, the animal shelter and the parish Head Start program, and that he was aware of events for each program.
Additionally, he said in another area, the millage rates that were posted from 2017, and in another area, the public works regular report was dated 2017, while its annual report was dated 2016.
Bagala's remarks prompted Councilman Jerry Jones to ask the administration whether Erica Adams still worked for Community Action. Parish Administrator Timothy Vedros said she does not.
Jones said, "Well on the website, Ms. Adams photo is there, but the name listed is Stephanie Washington."
After the meeting, Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle said the issues presented at the meeting were not significant. He said he was tired of the parish council making an issue where there really isn't one.
"Mrs. Savoy does not work for our community action department. She works in Community Services. She was removed as Director of Community Action, because she has been working on a special project with me, with the state,” Cantrelle said.
The Lafourche Community Action Agency has been embroiled in controversy since mid-June when Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle mysteriously closed office for a few days and sent all employees home with pay, including Ruffin-Roberson. Cantrelle then left on a brief vacation and upon returning, opened the office, with all of the employees returning back to work except Ruffin-Roberson.
He fired Ruffin-Roberson about a month later, on July 9, after spending almost $230.00 to change the locks on the community action offices.
Councilman Jerry Jones said then, that Cantrelle had opened, "a big can of worms."
Jones later accused the parish administration of working behind the scenes with others, to set up Ruffin-Roberson to be fired.
He believes that Cantrelle fired Ruffin-Roberson because allegedly, she forged five hours on a time card for an employee in her office, that totaled $87.30.
Shortly thereafter, Savoy was appointed as Interim Director.
In November however, Savoy accused Lorraine harassing her in front of colleagues and the agency's clients. Savoy brought her complaints before the parish council, where she said the situated escalated at a commodity giveaway in Galliano.
Savoy reiterated that the community action board is not in compliance. "Proper protocol is not being followed when it comes to procedures," she said.