POSTED: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 7:45pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - 7:49pm
PORT ALLEN, LA (NBC33) — Port Allen's chief financial officer Audrey McCain is back at work Wednesday thanks to a 18th Judicial District judge. At a hearing today Judge Alvin Batiste ruled the city's mayor could not fire the cfo on her own without council approval. McCain was relieved the legal battle is over at least for now.
"I'm hoping that this settles this," McCain said. "I'm hoping that it's over, and that we can go back to work and continue doing what we do. to serve the citizens of Port Allen."
McCain gets to stay the city's chief financial officer and municipal clerk. Judge Batiste said her offices qualified her as a department head, and department heads can only be hired or fired if the city council approves it.
McCain wants to stay on with the city because: "I like my job and I really enjoy the people in particular that I work with in that building."
The judge told the mayor not to stop McCain from doing her work. McCain just wants to do her job, which she said she tried to do last week and found herself in a conference room with no tools to do her work. The judge said that won't happen again.
"I really don't know what I'm going to face when I get there," McCain described. "I'm prepared to go to work."
But not everyone agreed with the Judges decision.
The hearing I think the hearing was set up," William Nelson, a Port Allen resident, described. "A white judge transferred it to a black judge to put the burden on the black judge to create a ruling that was unconsitutional."
Nelson came out to support the mayor.
"If you pay somebody to clean up your house, and you come back and your house is still dirty would you keep that person. She wanted to put a more experienced person to clean Port Allen up and Port Allen got to stop this racism," Nelson explained.
He says the judge was unfair: "Port Allen going to be dealt with it's not going to stop, and we are going to make sure her justice is prevailed."
McCain says the situation has upset many people in her office. She just wants things to go back to normal.
The city could still appeal the judges ruling.