Mar 27, 2013 7:49 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck
The Attorney General's Office is addressing controversy over a position in St Landry Parish government. Jessie Bellard is the Director of Administration for St. Landry Parish government.
But the parish council questioned whether Bellard was also performing the duties of Chief Administrative Officer on top of his Director of Ad-min duties.
Parish president Bill Fontenot says he has a right to delegate how he chooses.
"The president in absence of a Chief Administrative Officer is the Chief Administrative Officer. So Bill Fontenot, this person sitting right here, I am the President and Chief Administrative Officer of the parish," St. Landry Parish President Bill Fontenot said.
St. Landry Parish President Bill Fontenot's argues that as CAO of the parish, he can delegate authority and CAO duties to employees...Employees like Jessie Bellard.
"He has always been the director of administration," Fontenot said.
But a 2012 St. Landry Parish Legislative Audit was summarized in the Attorney General's recent opinion and said "Mr. Jessie Bellard has been performing the duties of Chief Administrative Officer in his position as Director of Administration.
"The opinion says yes, that I must get permission for a Chief Administrative Officer. I totally agree with that, but I have never asked for a Chief Administrative Officer, I'm not asking for one. My administration is working just fine," Fontenot said.
The St. Landry Parish Council Chairman agrees.
"The man should be able to get who he wants and it shouldn't be up to the council. The council should just approve it. But there's a many people who don't believe that, but I do," St. Landry Councilman and Chairman Leon Robinson said.