Port Allen City Attorney Victor Woods Jr. informed the city council on Thursday, May 6, of his intention to resign his position at month’s end.
In his correspondence with the council, Woods explained that he had sent Port Allen Mayor Demetric “Deedy” Slaughter a letter of resignation the week prior, on May 29 – and that his resignation would be effective at the end of the fiscal year, June 30.
“Back in February I told the mayor… it was my request that she go ahead and name a new city attorney. But I told her that I’d stick around until she had the opportunity to name somebody different,” said Woods, who has been the Port Allen City Attorney since 1997. “I thought it may have taken a little bit longer than I was ready to stay before somebody was confirmed.
“When I told the mayor I’d stay, it was my belief that it was possible that they could have somebody for the next fiscal year – and that still may be possible. But I just specifically stated that, because that was always my intents, not to go any longer than the fiscal year.”
In his letter of resignation to Slaughter, Woods recounts meeting with her on February 19, asking to be replaced as city attorney.
“I also advised that I would remain until such time a replacement could be named, but it is now my intent to designate a specific date for my departure,” he wrote. I kindly ask that you name your replacement for possible conformation at the next meeting.”
Woods said Monday evening that his resignation did not correlate with problems within the city during the tenure of Mayor Slaughter, instead saying that he had been planning to resign from the position for several months.
“I have represented the city for 16 (years), and I had represented the water district in Brusly for 20,” he said. “Was I asked to resign? No. Was I resigning because of everything going on? No.
“It was just something that I had determined that I wanted to do and I just wanted to do it before the fiscal year was out – and that was the biggest thing.”
Slaughter said Tuesday morning, that she didn’t have a replacement in mind for the city attorney position, but that a replacement would be named in due time. She added that she didn’t think the council had anyone in mind presently, either.
Slaughter said that in her correspondence with Woods in February, when Woods asked to be replaced, she was under the understanding that Woods was merely considering a resignation at the time.
“You can’t really do anything until he gives that confirmation of ‘yes, I’m resigning,’” Slaughter said.
Though Woods asked that a replacement for possible confirmation be named at the next meeting – June 12, Slaughter alluded to the fact that there may not be a replacement named that soon.
Louisiana Revised Statute 33:386 a., states that “In the event of a vacancy, the mayor, subject to confirmation by the board of aldermen, shall appoint a successor to any such office (clerk, tax collector, and all other necessary officers).”
“I don’t have anyone in mind as of now,” Slaughter said.
Woods said that the timing of his resignation was simply due to the closing of the fiscal year, which ends June 30.
In his letter to Slaughter, Woods wrote, “I feel that all attorneys have an obligation and duty to engage in service to their communities in some manner during their careers. I truly thank you and all those when first appointed City Attorney in 1997 who have allowed me to represent and advise the City.”