By Xerxes Wilson / The Houma Courier
HOUMA -- Lafourche Parish Councilman Daniel Lorraine says he will not pull a resolution seeking Parish President Charlotte Randolph's resignation over ethics violations, a finding that Randolph has already appealed.
The Lafourche Parish Council will debate the resolution at 5 p.m. Tuesday during its regular meeting at the Mathews Government Complex, 4876 La. 1.
Randolph has asked state ethics authorities to reconsider the $60,000 she's been ordered to pay because she rented her Grand Isle camp to BP in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill while Lafourche Parish government was under contract with the company.
“I'm going with it, me. I ain't pulling nothing,” Lorraine said. “She violated the ethics law. She admitted it. It doesn't matter what happens” (with the fine).
The resolution asks Randolph to resign. It has no legal bearing.
Randolph has declined to comment on the resolution.
The resignation resolution is being pushed by Lorraine and councilmen Jerry Jones and Jerry Lafont.
Other councilmen said the measure is meant to embarrass Randolph.
“She doesn't have criminal charges. I just think it is just a vendetta that they have against Charlotte,” Council Chairman Lindel Toups said. “Charlotte and I don't see eye to eye all the time, but I don't agree with this.”
Others argued the issue shouldn't be debated until the appeal has run its course.
“I didn't elect her, (the council) didn't elect her. She doesn't work for us; she works for the people,” said Councilman Aaron Caillouet, adding the voters must be involved in any removal effort.
Attorneys representing Randolph filed a seven-page application for a rehearing along with a nine-page supporting memo arguing the parish's $1 million contract with BP was more of a donation than a working agreement. The application says the penalty imposed on Randolph is a “radical departure from fines imposed for alleged violations of ethics code.”
The same three-person panel that fined Randolph will review the request and decide whether the appeal for a rehearing meets criteria required by state law. Their decision will take one to two weeks, according to Ethics Administration officials.
If a rehearing is granted, the panel will again hear oral arguments from Ethics Administration attorneys and Randolph, who has now hired two law firms to aid in her fight against the penalty.