Mayor Broome says she 'made a mistake' with new CAO who resigned; interim appointed

Mayor-president Sharon Weston Broome (Source: WAFB)
Mayor-president Sharon Weston Broome (Source: WAFB)
Troy Bell
Troy Bell

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Mayor-president Sharon Weston Broome addressed the resignation of her newly appointed chief administrative officer Monday afternoon.

"Last week, I announced the appointment of Troy Bell as my chief administrative officer. As the week unfolded, more information emerged about his professional history and academic credentials. It became obvious, even after a number of meetings and talking with the mayor of the last city where Mr. Bell was employed, that additional vetting should have occurred. I made a mistake with this important hire and I accept full responsibility," said Broome. "Mr. Bell was not the person that this city and parish deserved. I immediately accepted his resignation before the close of business on April 21. This action was taken so that my administration could put this completely behind us, and continue to serve our fellow residents and more our city-parish forward."

The mayor says she hopes to hire a permanent replacement soon. In the meantime, Mayor Broome has selected Dr. James Llorens to serve as interim CAO, effective Tuesday, April 25.

"I look forward to having Dr. Llorens join our team. I know that he will 'hit the ground running' and contribute immensely to the important work we do daily. He has spent several years serving this community in a number of capacities, including here in city hall," said Broome.

Llorens served as director of intergovernmental relations, director of human services, and director of human resources during the Screen administration. He was also assistant CAO during the Holden administration, with management and oversight of community development, workforce development, social services, and human resources.

Llorens is a native of Alexandria and a longtime resident of Baton Rouge. He has had a career in education and spent many years at Southern University, where his last position was chancellor of the Baton Rouge campus from 2011 to 2014. He also served as a professor and department chair at the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, as well as dean of the graduate school. In 2015, after chairing a feasibility study on establishing a new private Catholic high school for underserved communities, Llorens was appointed founding president of Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School. He retired from the school in December of 2016.

Llorens has also volunteered extensively in Baton Rouge. He currently serves on the boards of the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority and Care South, a federally qualified health center. He also served on boards for Baton Rouge General Health System, Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, and the East Baton Rouge Parish School System Foundation.

Lloren's earned a bachelor's degree from Loyola in New Orleans, a master's degree in urban affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Ph.D. in political science from LSU. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in public policy and minority communities at the University of Minnesota's Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

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