Opelousas employees re-apply to keep jobs - KLFY News 10

Opelousas employees re-apply to keep jobs

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A St. Landry Parish judge ruled in February, 17 employees hired by the city of Opelousas were hired without proper testing. One alderman says the board has no plans to appeal the decision.

But despite the fact the courts July 15 deadline for the city to fix the problem has passed, the employees in question are still working.

"He wanted us to appeal it and we voted it down and said no we don't need to appeal that. The ruling by the judge. The ruling was based on the civil service constitution." said Reggie Tatum.

Tatum and the other board of aldermen were defendants in the suit from the Civil Service Commission of the city of Opelousas alleging that the city hired employees without testing them for positions that required it. Tatum says it was all on Mayor Don Cravins.

"It was political cronyism most of the people were either his friends or people he owed favors to or whatever." said Tatum.

But Mayor Cravins says the city is in dire need of these municipal employees and that's why he's fighting for them. "We really have a shortage of employees right now so rather than trying to eliminate positions we trying to find resources." said Cravins.

The July 15 deadline passed to comply with the court's decision, so now he's working with the commission. "Civil service has agreed to work with the administration to test the people and give them the opportunity to apply for their job."

Cravins says through the deal with civil service those 17 employees would have an opportunity to retest for their jobs but will have some competition this time as well.

"They have to advertise it them of course. You have the process of testing and then once the testing is done the top three are selected and then we make the decision on that." said Cravins.

Mayor Cravins says the positions should be refilled within 90 days.

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