In a letter distributed Wednesday to the Iberia Parish Council, attorney Gary McGoffin argues that the damages claim of Holly Leleux-Thubron will not likely hold weight in court; her attorney responded Thursday by filing a complaint in federal court.
Leleux-Thubron was hired by Parish President Errol “Romo” Romero in February 2012, shortly after he took the helm of Iberia Parish Government.
Leleux-Thubron’s termination came about six months later, when the council passed a resolution to pull funding from her position as a maintenance superintendent for the Public Works Department — a position for which she had no experience. At issue was Leleux-Thubron’s dual role; in addition to her work with the public works department, she also served as public/media relations for the parish president — a position in which she was experienced.
In the letter distributed during last week's council meeting, attorney McGoffin — hired by 16th Judicial District Attorney Phil Haney to litigate the potential lawsuit — writes:
The Employment Record section of Holly Leleux-Thubron’s employment application to the Iberia Parish Government confirms that she had no applicable employment experience required of a Maintenance Supervisor. Instead, she had been employed by LHC Group as a communications coordinator, The Daily Iberian as a reporter, and the Shadows on the Teche as an interpreter.
The Maintenance Supervisor position is funded by the Parish Wide Drainage Fund which is a restricted dedicated property tax for constructing, improving, maintaining or operating drainage facilities in the parish. Additional duties performed by Holly Leleux-Thubron at the direction of the Parish President were unspecified though paid by the Drainage Fund millage in contravention of that dedication.
The Council never requested nor required the termination of the Plaintiff, only that she be paid from non-dedicated funds for her services unrelated to the duties of a Maintenance Superintendent.
Leleux-Thubron's attorney, Mike Moity, responded by filing a complaint in federal court Thursday, which calls for a trial by jury. Moity argues that the council violated the parish’s Home Rule Charter and the personnel policy by approving the defunding of her position.
Thomas J. Landry, Troy F. Comeaux, Bernard Broussard, Glenn Romero, Ricky J. Gonsoulin, Roger Duncan, Jerome Fitch and Marty Trahan, individually and in their capacity as members of the Iberia Parish Council, in defunding [Leleux-Thubron’s] position, have manufactured a guise of budgetary concern ... but have showed deliberate indifference with respect to other employees of Iberia Parish Government who are similarly situated.
[Their] actions ... amount to a conspiracy to interfere with [Leleux-Thubron’s] civil rights ... and the deprivation of [her] rights were motivated by said ... animus towards [her] only, and no other parish employees who are similarly situated.
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