Laura Boudreaux has been paid to do nothing since May. That's when the city decided to put the senior paralegal aide/supervisor for City Prosecutor Gary Haynes' office on admministrative leave.

No one will say why.

"This is a personnel matter handled by the administration," Gary Haynes said in a text message reply to The IND's questions. "Therefore I'm not at liberty to comment."

Boudreaux, who joined the office in October 1992, according to Lafayette City-Parish Attorney Michael Hebert, earns $20.50 per hour. That's $3,200 per month, meaning she's been paid roughly $32,000 to sit home.

The IND filed a public records request with Hebert for information pertaining to the employment status of Boudreaux.

Below is what Hebert had to say:

We decline to provide information in response to the remainder of your request, on the following grounds. [I]nitiation of Laura Boudreaux’s administrative leave, the reasons why she is still on administrative leave, and the status of her reinstatement are exempt from disclosure due to the right to privacy established by Article 1, Section 5 of the Louisiana Constitution.
"LCG generally applies the same policies for both classified and unclassified employees, except where the nature of the civil service system dictates otherwise," Hebert says. 

Page 9 of Lafayette Consolidated Government's Policy and Procedure Manual 261-6 is where the ins and outs of administrative leave are explained for LCG employees, both civil service and non-civil service. The rules read:

• An employee may be granted administrative leave pending an administrative investigation when the Appointing Authority has reason to believe that the employee has engaged in conduct that, if confirmed, would warrant disciplinary action, and the employee’s continued presence at work during the investigation of the suspected conduct would be contrary to the best interest of LCG.

• The employee shall be given written notice of the administrative leave granted pending investigation and the reasons therefor. The employee shall also be advised that he/she is restricted to confinement to his/her residence during normal working hours. If the employee leaves his/her residence for personal business, the employee must receive prior approval of the Department Director or designee.

• Administrative leave shall be with pay and shall not exceed 30 calendar days without the prior approval of the Department Director.

• The Director of Civil Service may allow administrative leave to be extended for up to 30 additional calendar days upon the Appointing Authority’s written request and reason(s) therefore.

• Upon completion of the investigation, the employee and the Department Director shall be advised of the outcome.

• Administrative leave is not a disciplinary action and is only appealable if the basis for the appeal is discrimination or a violation of these rules.

So, in order to keep the paychecks coming, all Boudreaux has to do is make sure she doesn’t leave home during work hours, unless of course she gets prior approval from the director of her department. At least that should have been the case for the first 30 days, as appears to be stipulated by LCG policy. The policy, though, does allow for an extension after the first 30 days — considering the department director approves — but only for an additional 30 days, no more. The policy clearly states "up to."

Hebert confirms he is Boudreaux's department director but would not say the reason so many extensions have been granted or what in the policy and procedure manual allows him to do this.

That must mean Boudreaux is a special case; as of today, she’s been on what amounts to a vacation for nearly 10 months.

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