Port Allen Mayor: City finance dept. in serious trouble

Mayor Dee Dee Slaughter
Mayor Dee Dee Slaughter
Audrey McCain and her attorney, Cy D'Aquilla
Audrey McCain and her attorney, Cy D'Aquilla
Ralph Slaughter
Ralph Slaughter

PORT ALLEN, LA (WAFB) - The Chief Financial Officer of Port Allen who was fired on Monday is back on the job.

A judge approved a temporary restraining order on Thursday reinstating Audrey McCain.

The mayor, Dee Dee Slaughter, said she fired McCain after a legislative audit found significant deficiencies in the city's financial operations.

Tempers flared during Wednesday night's Port Allen City Council meeting. Several topics fueled the fireworks between council members. The hottest, perhaps, was Mayor Dee Dee Slaughter's decision to fire McCain.

"I walked in on Monday morning, she handed me an envelope that had two letters in it that said that my services were no longer needed," McCain said.

McCain said when she took the job in October of 2011 she was tasked with fixing several financial issues brought to the city's attention by the state legislative officer.

"The problems were significant and it took me a long time to gather all the problems, find them first and fix them," McCain said.

McCain said she reviewed the audit findings with the mayor and also discussed how the city should respond and remedy the problems.

"I gave her a point by point explanation of what happened how I think it happened and what we can do to rectify it before the report was ever given to the council," McCain said.

Slaughter said she fired McCain because she was worried the city's financial situation would only get worse.

"I want to make sure that this does not fall in my lap when we go into our audit for 2013. If you look we have four months to go, and if you look at it we're really in a crunch time," Slaughter said.

McCain's attorney, Cy D'Aquilla, who filed an injunction to temporarily reinstate McCain's employment with the city believes the mayor is over-reacting.

"By no means would it give anybody heartburn. It's simple timely procedures that just needed to be followed that Ms. McCain could not follow because she had to rectify so many errors from the previous CFO," D'Aquilla said.

McCain said taxpayers have nothing to worry about.

"Port Allen is in great financial shape. Port Allen has healthy fund balances in all of our accounts," McCain said.

Meanwhile, the mayor has hired her brother-in-law, Ralph Slaughter, to oversee those duties as chief of staff.

A hearing is set for next Wednesday.

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