- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

LIVINGSTON, La. (AP) - A third member of the Livingston Parish Charter Review Commission has resigned, citing the group’s waning credibility and refusal to follow legal advice.

Commissioner Rocky Brown Jr. tells The Advocate (https://bit.ly/1jTw8Cf ) the decision was not an easy one to make.

“However, I feel as though the integrity of the commission has been greatly compromised after the proceedings of our last meeting,” Brown said in his resignation letter.

On March 18, the 10-member board reversed a vote taken a month prior regarding a recommendation to limit the parish president’s authority to sign contracts without council approval.

The parish’s Home Rule Charter says the president may sign contracts only for items “specifically identified” in the parish budget or an ordinance. All other contracts must receive council approval.

Commissioner Scott Jones sought at both the Feb. 17 and March 18 meetings to restrict the president’s discretion to sign contracts unilaterally to those under $25,000.

The commission voted 5-4 against the measure on Feb. 17, then 6-4 in favor of it on March 18.

Jones said the parish’s legal adviser and the district attorney consistently had said that provision of the charter has “gray areas.”

Commissioners Rick Ramsey and Earl Price also resigned after the March 18 meeting. Ramsey said the commission’s reversal cast doubt on its credibility.

Price cited nonspecific personal reasons for his resignation but expressed confidence in the group’s work.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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