Posted: Jun 14, 2012 9:58 AM by AP
PORT ALLEN, La. (AP) - The Port Allen City Council has appointed convicted felon and former Police Chief Adrian Genre as the city's new chief administrative officer, effective July 1.
Officials say Barry Brewer, who has overseen the city's operations for more than 30 years, retired from the position on June 11.
The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/LWeTKQ ) Genre applied for a job as assistant CAO in 2010 during the administration of former Mayor Derek Lewis.
Genre served as Port Allen's police chief for seven years before resigning in August 2000 after pleading guilty to perjury in a federal civil-rights lawsuit against the city and its Police Department.
The lawsuit asserted only black applicants were given a written test during a Police Department interview process.
Genre admitted to lying in a deposition about the department's hiring practices. He was sentenced to serve six months in federal prison, plus serve three years on probation and pay a $2,000 fine.
Mayor Roger Bergeron told the council Wednesday he felt Genre is the most qualified of the five candidates the city's Personnel and Finance Committee interviewed for the CAO slot. The mayor said 12 people submitted applications.
"I've thought about it and prayed about it," Bergeron said.
The mayor's recommendation drew gasps from audience members eagerly waiting to speak out about their opposition to Genre's appointment.
"How, with a good heart, could you hire that man?" Gerald Gauthe, a former Port Allen police chief now retired, asked the mayor before the council's vote.
Genre, "betrayed the trust of the people that elected him into office," Gauthe said. "He went to the federal pen, cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in a lawsuit. You can stand up here and say you made a good decision?"