Former juror calls for resignation of ‘delegated’ secretary-treasurer
CROWLEY - Wrapping up a otherwise routine agenda here Tuesday night, members of the Acadia Parish Police Jury heard a call for the resignation of the designated secretary-treasurer.
A.J. Credeur, who served on the jury for 12 years before losing his re-election bid in 2015, accused Donna Bertrand of dual offficeholding and asked her to “resign immediately.”
Credeur alleged that the appointment of Bertrand, who also serves as human resources director for the parish, constituted an illegal act by the jury.
Bertrand was appointed “designated secretary-treasurer” on March 14, one month after former Secretary-Treasurer Laura Faul resigned to accept a position with the parish sheriff’s office.
According to the motion, Bertrand would handle the duties of the secretary-treasurer, along with her regular duties as human resources director, until the end of 2017, at which time the jury would fill the position for its regular two-year term.
Credeur said Bertrand could not hold both offices, pointing out that, according to an organizational chart of parish officials, “she is in charge of herself.”
Reading from a pre-prepared statement, Credeur claimed that a pair of state Attorney General opinions backed up his claims. (We could find no recent opinions related to the Acadia Parish Police Jury on a quick searc of the Attorney General’s website.)
Credeur went so far as to ask District Attorney Keith Stutes, who was in attendance, if his advice to “delegate” the duties of the secretary-treasurer was an “attempt to circumvent the dual officeholding law.”
Stutes did not respond.
Credeur’s statement followed a similar prepared statement from Bertrand, who called the jury’s decision to delegate the duties in-house a wise financial move.
She went on to say that, almost from the day of her appointment, the police jury’s administrative office “has been bombarded with public information requests,” some of which, she said, “required over 200 copies to be delivered in the state-mandated three days.”
She did not say who was submitting the requests, but admitted that, with the shortened hours due to budget constraints and the smaller staff, the task was sometimes overwhelming.
She ended by saying that the parish staff was handling the requests in a timely manner.