Several Opelousas employees out of work following court ruling - KLFY News 10

Several Opelousas employees out of work following court ruling

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Several employees of the City of Opelousas are now out of work following a Louisiana Supreme Court ruling.

The now ex-employees were all hired without taking the required Civil Service Test. Red flags surfaced a little over a year ago for the Opelousas Civil Service Commission after reviewing the hiring records of several employees.

The commission discovered those employees were given positions without going through the required process...including not taking the Civil Service Exam. Dick Hollier with the Opelousas Civil Service Board says, "We just thought that a number of people had been on the city payroll with no job description, no title, no accountability and so we thought we'd do something about it and filed suit."

District court Judge James Doherty, ruled in the favor of Civil Service. Hollier says even after the ruling, the employees in question remained on the payroll.

"It was six or seven of them on their own relation, they filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, and of course the Supreme Court knocked that down and ruled in our favor and as a result they were immediately removed" said Hollier.

City Alderman, Reginald Tatum says the entire situation could have been avoided and should have been put to a stop long before now. "When the judge made the original ruling it probably should have stopped right there instead of going from the appellate court into the Supreme Court" When asked how the council would make sure they are up to date on the hiring of new employees in the future, Tatum's response was "We have to make sure that we are going to do it the right way. There's going to be a limit to the amount of unclassified employees that the mayor can appoint, and that's basically it." We contacted Mayor Donald Cravins but he declined comment on this matter.

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