Nov 29, 2011 7:30 PM by Melissa Hawkes
Some St. Landry Parish residents are questioning whether the parish president's right hand man, Jessie Bellard, is allowed to have two jobs. Bellard has been a firefighter for the Opelousas Fire Department for over 20 years, eight years ago he took on another position as Director of Administration for St. Landry Parish Government.
He said, "what I'm doing isn't illegal or unethical."
The key is his parish position is part time. If he held two full-time positions, then it'd be illegal.
His DOA responsibilities take up 35 hours a week and he works over 50 hours a week at the fire department.
Bellard said he's able to juggle both positions because of his irregular hours at the fire department. He works 24 hours on and 48 off, and many times on the weekend.
Chief Lee Cahanin said, " it's out of the ordinary if they don't have another job. Many of them own their own lawn mowing companies, some work in the community or other government positions on a part time basis."'
Parish President Elect Bill Fontenot said he plans on keeping Bellard in his position when he takes over in January.
Fontenot said, "Jesse has a lot to offer he has a lot of valuable information and intuitiveness of what needs to be done."
Bellard explained, "When I leave the fire station, I'm here. When I leave here, I'm at the fire station, so my mind is always on work-but what's wrong with that? There's nothing wrong with work."
Tax payer dollars pay for both Bellard's salaries. We filed a request with both parish and state government, who says they're working on getting the documents we requested. However, Bellard said he's not hiding anything and gave us everything we requested.
As a firefighter, Bellard estimates he takes home about 50-thousand dollar and as DOA, he takes home another 50-thousand dollars.