The office of New Orleans City Council President Jackie Clarkson was unusually quiet on Friday afternoon. Her entire staff apparently walked out in
"I push everybody hard. I'm hard to work for I don't deny that," said Clarkson. sitting behind her desk at City Hall.
However, a closer look around her office revealed that all five of her full-time staff were missing. Clarkson confirms that during Thursday's City Council meeting tensions mounted between her and her staff.
"I was just giving orders: do that, do this, be here, be there. And they're just tired of that. They didn't like it and they told me so," said Clarkson.
In response to Thursday's meeting, Clarkson's staff walked out and didn't return to work on Friday. Clarkson denies reports that staff handed over a list of demands and says she expects that they'll return on Monday.
"It's unusual to have a staff mutiny in terms of the entire staff walking out. What that speaks to is the work place culture," said Pollster & Research Strategist Dr. Silas Lee. He says such negative publicity and an extended staff walk out can negatively impact Clarkson's council at-large office responsibilities.
"It's something she wants to resolve quickly because that can impact how she delivers and responds to the needs of constituents," added Lee.
As Clarkson prepares for a busy work weekend and nine months countown to retirement, the career politician maintains there is no quitting now.
"May 2014, I'm history. I have several big things on my agenda still to accomplish, and so I'm going to push everybody hard," added Clarkson.
Eyewitness News attempted to contact Clarkson's staff for comment on their walkout and if they planned to return on Monday. Those phone calls and e-mails were not returned in time for Friday night's 10 p.m. newscast.