Iberia

Apr 30, 2013 5:55 PM

Iberia Parish employee sues parish government for wrongful termination

An Iberia Parish employee has filed suit against the parish government and council after the council voted to eliminate the funding for her position.

Iberia Parish President Errol "Romo" Romero hired Holly Leleux-Thubron as a maintenance supervisor after the Iberia Council refused to create a position for a communication director. Leleux-Thubron, a former reporter without professional maintenance experience, was hired in February, 2012. The council voted to withhold funding for her position in September.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, claims Leleux-Thubron was fired without cause and asks for restitution of lost wages, plus damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, embarrassment and a litany of other effects, as well as attorney's fees and court costs.

The lawsuit is the latest move in a running battle between Romero and the council over control of the Iberia Parish budget and hiring. Since his election in November, 2011, Romero has been at odds with his council, fighting over his appointee for chief administrative officer and other positions within the government's staff.

Romero has also been involved in a back-and-forth flurry of investigations, charges and counter-charges between himself, District Attorney Phil Haney and the Iberia Parish Council. Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell stepped into the fray, saying Romero's charges had "no merit."

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