Legal fees for former Ferriday mayor yet to be repaid

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, December 14, 2011

FERRIDAY — A lack of funds to pay the legal fees of former Ferriday mayor, the late Sammy Davis, brought several questions from both board and audience members Tuesday evening during the board of aldermen meeting.

In January the board voted in favor of paying $129,000 to Davis’ lawyers.

Davis was convicted of malfeasance in office, but that conviction was vacated in the early 1990s. Louisiana law allows for the compensation of legal fees of an elected official who proves themselves innocent of charges related to their conduct in office.

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During the January meeting Ferriday Town Attorney Anna Ferguson quoted sections of attorney general opinions on the matter and noted that the board was not required to pay the fees, but that paying them was allowed.

The payment arrangement agreed upon slated payments to begin on Aug. 1.

District E Alderwoman Gloria Lloyd, District C Alderwoman Gail Pryor and several audience members wanted clarification on why the payment had not been made on Aug. 1 and when the payment would be made.

District D Alderman Johnnie Brown, who led the meeting in Mayor Glen McGlothin’s absence, said some of the money allocated for Davis’ legal fees was used to pay for an emergency water situation in September.

“We would pay it if we had the monies, but we just don’t have the funds,” Brown said. “Last time we talked, the mayor indicated that we didn’t have the monies, but that maybe we could look at it next month.”

Brown dismissed notions that surplus funds or any additional city money was available and could be used to pay Davis’ legal fees.

“What the administration is trying to do is just hang on until next month when we get our annual revenues in,” Brown said. “As far as monies to pay this go, I don’t think we have it.”

Other news from the Ferriday board of aldermen meeting:

-A tax renewal will be applied for in the coming months to put toward the town’s street overlay plan, Brown said.

The tax renewal would bring in $1.3 million for the next 10 years.

-McKinley Bates presented the town with two trophies from the Ferriday Trojans’ 2011 TNT championship in the 6 to 8 year old division and runner up in the 11 to 12 year old division.

“We’re just speechless for all the help that the town of Ferriday came through for us,” Bates said. “We just want to thank the parents, citizens, businesses and the board for never giving up on us.”

-The board approved two occupational license applications to Pipes Auto Shop, 713 E.E. Wallace Blvd., and Salon Vogue, 219 Louisiana Ave.

-The board approved Custom Concepts, 412 E.E. Wallace Blvd., to add pecan purchases to their business.

-The board approved Ferriday Superette, 801 Louisiana Ave., for an alcoholic beverage permit renewal.