Lafayette Police Civil Service board failed to post public meeting on its website; meeting abruptly cancelled

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) A public meeting was shut down, in Lafayette, because the public wasn’t made aware of the meeting taking place.

Paul Mouton, chairman of the Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service board, apologized for the abrupt cancellation.

Mouton says the law is clear about public meetings being posted for public view and that includes on the agency’s website.

A meeting audience members brought the ‘failure to disclose’ to the board’s attention.

Some people who had an issue on the agenda say they understand the cancellation but now they must wait another 30 days to hear an outcome.

Mouton says the board will speak with all involved parties to devise a feasible date to meet again.

The board’s next monthly meeting is in September.

“It has to be properly posted and people have to be properly notified,” Mouton insisted.

Lafayette NAACP President Marja Broussard arrived shocked to see the meeting already over.

“Someone called me this morning and said Ms. Marja they’re having a meeting this morning. I said it wasn’t on the website.  I called and the clerk and he emailed me the agenda,” Broussard explained.

Broussard says to hear knowledge board’s meetings are not set on a particular day of the month which makes it impossible for community input.

The civil service office reports the meetings are normally every 2nd Wednesday of the month.

“They need to do some work to let the public know when these meetings are happening just like the city does.  People want to participate but people can’t participate if they don’t know,” Broussard stated.

Michael Lunsford of Citizens for a New Louisiana was at the meeting.  

Lunsford has an item on the agenda regarding a citizen’s complaint against an officer.

“I’m a little disappointed I have to wait another 30 days, but the civil service board did the right thing,” Lunsford said.

The board plans to hold two meetings next month.

One meeting will be for September and the other will be for the cancelled meeting.  

The agendas are to be prioritized to handle terminations and suspensions given they’re time sensitive issues.

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