- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) - The St. Landry Parish Council has agreed to delay voting on any proposed revisions to a policy manual that covers employee hiring practices by parish government.

Council member Pam Gautreau told The Advocate (https://bit.ly/1qNyMvX) it is not clear whether the parish is following a policy manual adopted by a 2004 resolution or another policy she said parish government is using without council authority.

Parish President Bill Fontenot said on Wednesday the parish is following the one adopted by the council.

Gautreau says the 2004 manual establishes in detail that family members are prohibited from working in the same parish government departments, and indicates that members of the same family cannot supervise one another. However, Gautreau says, parish government has workers employed in the same departments and supervising other family members.

Parish policy also forbids employing workers with felony arrests and those who have failed drug tests, she said, claiming that the parish has some workers who have failed drug tests and who are felons.

Council member Ronald Buschel said he could not act on any revision of the policy manual until he has time to review it.

Rusty Ashley, who acted as legal adviser for Wednesday night’s meeting, said a policy manual can be adopted only by council ordinance.

Ashley said his research shows the 2004 manual appears to have been adopted by resolution.

The council has three options regarding the adoption of any policy manual.

One way is to introduce an ordinance for the 2004 manual. Another is to request that a revised manual be introduced, Ashley said.

Ashley said the parish also can appoint an advisory committee for revision and then have the committee offer the revised manual for adoption.

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

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