Lawsuit regarding public information filed against Ville Platte

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At a city budget meeting last month, questions about the Mayor’s salary turned into tension.

After weeks of no answers according to a civil rights activist, a lawsuit has been filed.

Arthur Sampson is the activist who spoke at the meeting.

At the time, he wanted to know how the mayor’s salary increased from $70,000 dollars to $80,000 dollars.

The mayor says it was not a salary increase, but that it was adjusted to include expenses and benefits.

“That’s included in the salary and it might look like that’s the total salary but that’s way far from the total salary,” said Vidrine.

Many of the expenses were said to be travel-related.

Sampson included this in a public information request to the city.

“I would also like to know exactly where they are traveling to you know the breakdown, it should be in the budget to break down where they travel to,” says Sampson.

The request also included information on a $39,000 dollar overdraft fee.

“Previous audit report, you had maybe $600 or $700, maybe a couple of thousands dollars worth of overdraft fees and all of a sudden, you have $39,000 dollars worth,” says Sampson.

City officials responded saying they would process the request, but that it would cost $1.25 per page plus the hourly salary of the individual who is researching and compiling the information.

It also said it would take several months.

That’s when Sampson responded with the lawsuit.

“By law they say everything should already be in place when a public request is made,” says Sampson.

The mayor’s office has not commented on the lawsuit itself at this point.

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