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P.A. court battle progresses; trial date set

Written by Emily Bell on . Posted in Local

 

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UPDATE: Eighteenth Judicial District Court Judge Alvin Batiste has set a trial date for “McCain v. Slaughter,” the case Port Allen CFO Audrey McCain brought against Mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter

in February after Slaughter attempted to fire McCain.

Batiste set the trial date for Sept. 19-20 in Port Allen with a status conference Aug. 28 at 9 a.m.

Meanwhile, Batiste ruled regarding a “Motion for Summary Judgment” filed by the mayor’s previous attorneys: Shelton Blunt, Paul LeBlanc and Laranda Walker of Phelps Dunbar LLC. In that motion, the mayor asked that Batiste dismiss all McCain’s claims and rule in her favor.

Wednesday, July 31, Batiste dismissed some of McCain’s claims but said most of them still need to be brought to trial. The mayor remains under a preliminary injunction not to interfere with McCain’s job duties as CFO and Municipal Clerk.

“We believe the judge made a very good ruling,” one of McCain’s attorneys, Seth Dornier, said July 31, though he could not immediately go into details of the judge’s ruling.

The mayor’s new attorney on the case, Ron Johnson, admitted that the judge may not have ruled completely in the mayor’s favor, but said he thinks Batiste has a good handle on what the law is.

“We believe that the law is on the mayor’s side,” Johnson said, with Slaughter by his side. July 31 was the mayor’s first time to appear in court since February.

Johnson said whether in the 18th Judicial District Court or in the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals, he believes the mayor will prevail.

Johnson also said he expects budget adjustments to be made for the mayor’s salary within the next 30 days.

At a July 2 hearing for a separate case three council members brought against the mayor, Batiste ruled that the council needed to appropriate more money for Slaughter’s nearly $85,000 a year salary, because the council did not properly set a lower salary of $65,000 in June 2012.

The city council meets in committee Aug. 7.

Per the July 2 ruling, Slaughter is under a preliminary injunction not to receive any more salary until the council appropriates more money or she obtains a court order.

Slaughter’s $400 a month car allowance, over and above salary, was already approved by the city council.

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