LANGLINAIS SEEKING UP TO $20,000 IN VACATION PAY Former Iberia Parish President Will Langlinais, who resigned from office in July 2007 after pleading guilty to malfeasance in office, is seeking accrued vacation pay accumulated over his 14-year tenure. Langlinais’ attorney, Wade Trahan, recently sent a letter to the Iberia Parish District Attorney’s office, requesting vacation pay. The Iberia Parish Council directed Assistant District Attorney Eric Duplantis to look into the matter.
According to the parish’s Home Rule Charter, the parish president is entitled to accrued vacation and sick leave. Aside from the eight-month hiatus since Langlinais left office before applying for sick leave, there is a black hole when it comes to records. Duplantis says that during Langlinais’ time in office he never notified anyone where he was — and whether he was on parish business or his own time. Iberia Parish employee vacation and sick leave policy states: “Leave records must be maintained for employees eligible to accrue vacation leave.”
Iberia Parish Human Resources Director Donna McDonald says that she has no way to calculate how much vacation pay Langlinais might be entitled to because she has no paperwork. “I do not know how much vacation time he took, because there’s no documentation,” she says. “Everybody has to follow procedures,” says Duplantis. “Under the parish’s policy he had a duty to notify when he was out on vacation. We’re treating Will like any other employee. He has to document what he is entitled to.”
Langlinais currently receives state retirement and health insurance.
MUDBUG MADNESS IN THE LEGISLATURE If crawfish farmers and crustacean aficionados are looking for a banner-bearer, they need look no further than rookie Rep. Fred H. Mills Jr., a Democrat from Parks. The spunky Cajun is sponsoring what promises to be two of the most controversial mudbug-related bills during the upcoming regular session that opens March 31.
For an appetizer, Mills is serving up House Bill 501, which would transfer the management and regulation of wild-caught crawfish from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to the Department of Agriculture and Forestry. The latter already oversees pond operations and spearheaded an international trade suit during the 1990s, which has long left many in the industry wondering why the ag folks don’t oversee the whole shebang.
Mills’ main course, however, can be found in House Bill 266, which would force restaurants to notify their customers if the crawfish they’re serving is from a foreign country. If the law passes, all eateries — from Commander’s Palace to the mom-and-pop shop down the street — would have to update their menus.
Shrimpers tried the same trick a few years ago but were aggressively shot down by the influential Louisiana Restaurant Association. Mills should expect more of the same, especially since his bill calls for fines of up to $500 or jail time of 90 days for first-time offenders.
BILLS SEEK TO RAISE COLLEGE TUITION A trio of bills in the state Legislature would allow UL Lafayette to raise its student tuition for the 2008-2009 school year. The primary measure will come from the Board of Regents’ tuition proposal. As a backup, state Rep. Don Trahan has filed two separate measures, one of which calls on direct legislative approval for a 4 percent increase to UL Lafayette’s tuition — a rise Trahan says would be covered by TOPS. Trahan, who chairs the House education committee, also has filed a separate bill to give postsecondary management boards greater autonomy in setting tuition rates.
Trahan says UL’s tuition has lagged below the state’s other Doctoral II universities (UNO and LA Tech), in addition to smaller schools within the UL system. “[These bills] would help UL tremendously,” Trahan says. In addition, Trahan has filed a resolution on behalf of the governor to appeal to the Board of Regents to re-examine its funding of higher education. Traditionally, university funding has been based primarily on enrollment numbers. The governor wants to see other factors, including number of doctoral programs and level of faculty research, have more of an impact on funding levels.
YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING: AN OFFICIAL STATE DRINK? Believe it or not but the Sazerac may be designated the “official state cocktail” at the regular legislative session that starts March 31.
An apparent fan of the concoction, Democratic Sen. Edwin Murray of New Orleans filed in advance of the session Senate Bill 6 designating the Sazerac the official state cocktail, claiming it is the first mixed drink invented in New Orleans and one of the first in the country.
“We will probably have a little fun with this bill” as a diversion from the heavy issues lawmakers will face at the upcoming session, Murray told The Times-Picayune. “There will be a very aggressive effort to get it done.”
The paper reported that Ann Tuennerman, founder of the annual New Orleans Tales of the Cocktail activities, has written Murray to urge passage of the bill because the Sazerac has “evolved over time and represents history in a glass... When folks come to New Orleans, they want certain things authentic and original to the Crescent City, be it a beignet, a po-boy, a cup of chicory coffee, oysters Rockefeller, bread pudding or Bananas Foster.”
The drink in its original form was invented in the 1830s in New Orleans by pharmacist Antoine Amedee Peychaud, who fled Haiti and opened an apothecary on Royal Street in the French Quarter, according to the Picayune. To create the drink, he added his own blend of bitters and Louisiana cane sugar to a French brandy.
Murray’s bill asks that the state to use the official cocktail on “official documents...and with the insignia of the state.”
Contributors: Jeremy Alford, Mary Tutwiler and Nathan Stubbs
February trial date indicates parties were unable to negotiate a settlement.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has been viewed as a health care policy wonk, and he's tried to build on that image ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, positioning himself as the candidate with substantive ideas.
Jerry Jones watched what he called the best effort he's seen in 25 years as owner of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, and that was before Tony Romo had the longest scramble of his career and DeMarco Murray finished off yet another 100-yard game.
Two of the most recognizable women in Republican politics, Sarah Palin and Mary Matalin, have been heavily involved in Louisiana’s current election cycle.
Even though the Louisiana Democratic Party has thrown its support behind former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ congressional bid, national Democrats are not expected to follow suit.
Volcano recovery suspended; Mossad recruiting online; high fees in Ferguson and more national and international news for Monday, September 29, 2014.
Monday's Blogs from the Bog!
“[Mike] is no longer the energetic ADA that his recent ad is trying to portray. I just think Mike needs to get the hell out.” — Kermit Harson, DA Mike Harson’s brother
The New Orleans Saints have listed Jonathan Goodwin as questionable for Sunday night's game in Dallas, raising the prospect that second-year pro Tim Lelito will start at center for the first time.
The endorsements keep coming for District 9 LPSB candidate Jeremy Hidalgo, who picked up his fifth vow of support Thursday, this time from the Chamber’s political action committee.
Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter will be out knocking on doors this weekend with anti-abortion activists encouraging people to vote against his colleague, Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
The ACLU of Louisiana has sued Abbeville's mayor and police chief over a policy barring police from any social media use showing the city in a bad light.
Prospective Republican presidential candidates are expected to promote "religious liberty" at home and abroad at a gathering of religious conservatives Friday, with anti-Obama speeches from the likes of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The American Zombie blog by New Orleans independent journalist Jason Berry has a photograph of U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier having dinner with Lafayette attorney Pat Juneau — yeah, that Pat Juneau, the BP claims administrator whose fate Barbier will soon decide.
But retirees and employees who face the higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs responded angrily, telling lawmakers that they shouldn't be held responsible for what they consider the Jindal administration's mismanagement of the Office of Group Benefits.
Indictment accuses ‘chef’ who claims to work for the needy of stealing from a disabled man in his care.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's top budget adviser says the state employee health insurance program will face a dire financial scenario without the heavily criticized changes planned by the administration.
Louisiana's last execution was in 2010, and plans for the next lethal injection have been put on hold amid an ongoing legal dispute about the drugs that would be used. More than 80 people are on death row, awaiting execution, in Louisiana.
If the Saints' defense hasn't corrected early season errors it could be in for a long Sunday night.
U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu is traveling to the Citgo refinery near Lake Charles to highlight her successful stalling of a bill to impose sanctions against human-rights abusers in Venezuela's government.
Gov. Bobby Jindal will be spending his next few days in the key presidential campaign states of New Hampshire and Iowa.
The Chamber’s Empower PAC has endorsed its second candidate for this year’s LPSB elections, announcing it will support the reelection campaign of District 5 incumbent Kermit Bouillion.
And he just lost the frat-bro vote!
Republican congressional candidate Zach Dasher is getting an advertising assist from his famous "Duck Dynasty" family.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration skipped required legal steps in making changes to the health insurance plans that cover state employees, teachers and retirees, the state attorney general's office said Tuesday.