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Ferriday alderman asks for investigation on mayor

FERRIDAY — A Ferriday aldermen is asking the district attorney’s office to investigate whether Mayor Gene Allen violated the law this week by denying a special meeting.

Alderman Elijah “Stepper” Banks believes Allen overstepped his boundaries by denying a special meeting to discuss economic development Banks and three other aldermen supported.

The meeting was intended to discuss two resolutions drafted by Banks relating to the Memphis-based shoe company interested in relocating to Ferriday and the creation of a Ferriday Economic Development Advisory Committee.

One resolution was to show support from the board to Neimaj Footwear and Apparel, a company specializing in the design and production of eco-friendly custom and traditional athletic footwear.

“The Town of Ferriday offers and provides its full support to Neimaj Inc. in their effort to operate a business in the Town of Ferriday,” the resolution states.

The company had entered into an agreement with the previous Ferriday administration for a five-year lease of the former Kelly’s Kids building on Louisiana 15 for warehouse and distribution purposes.

The other resolution was to create the Ferriday Economic Development Advisory Committee, which would be composed of aldermen from each district and work to promote economic development in Ferriday.

Allen replied to Banks’ letter saying he denied the request for the special meeting.

“I have determined that the reason that is listed as to why this meeting should be held does not meet the requirements to call a special meeting,” Allen said in a letter. “Thus I am denying the request, which this council knows will only place an additional burden on the city financially.”

On Friday, Banks submitted a letter to the district attorney’s stating that Allen did not have the authority to deny the meeting according to Louisiana law.

“The facts verify that the mayor overstepped his authority and violated not only the law, but also the rights and responsibility of the board of aldermen,” Banks said in his letter. “According to the statue sited, the mayor has neither the power nor the statutory authority to deny the meeting.”