Posted: Nov 17, 2011 11:49 AM by AP
OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) - The St. Landry Parish Council has voted unanimously to ask the state Legislative Auditor's Office to review all contracts approved during the two terms served by parish President Don Menard.
On Wednesday, council member Pam Gautreau questioned Menard's hiring of former Opelousas Mayor Mike Thibodeaux as a state lobbyist for parish government at a cost of $10,000 per legislative session.
Since his election as St. Landry's first parish president, Gautreau said she believed that Menard had entered into contracts for professional services with people and companies that required council approval.
While Menard did not attend the meeting, he was represented by Jessie Bellard, the parish president's administrative assistant. Bellard told the council it has been Menard's contention that the parish president has the authority under St. Landry's home rule charter to make professional services agreements.
Bellard said he expects Menard to attend the council's December meeting.
In another matter, the council also voted to request the end-of-year employee salary records for council employees.
Council member Jay Guidry said he wants to review records of employees' use of credit cards during the 2011 fiscal year, which ends Dec. 31.
Gautreau said she was "sickened" by Menard's request that the council submit a formal written request for access to the salary records.
She said reviewing employees' salaries is a routine public records request that is available to the general public.