26 January 2011

alexandria, la. city attorney charles johnson: city "council leadership has plunged the city into chaos"


UPDATED 5:55 pm cst

Early Wednesday News Channel 5 received a tip alleging that several Alexandria City Court prosecutors were suddenly fired.

We contacted Alexandria City Attorney Chuck Johnson for a comment and he released the following statement to us:

"None of the prosecutors at City Court were "fired" today.

I was forced to relieve them of their duties and to assume their responsibilities myself because the budget amendment passed last night by the council has no funding with which to pay them.

They are not employees of the city.

They are outside contract counsel paid through my professional fees and services line item.

This is just the first of a series of unfortunate fiscal measures which my division will be implementing.

Many more lawyers whom have done excellent work for the city over the years will have to be let go, through no fault of their own.

This reckless decision by the council leadership has plunged the city into chaos.

I will only be able to use contract attorneys with the special expertise we need in complex cases in only the most dire circumstances.

The hotel initiative is now imperiled, as well as several other major economic development projects."

News Channel 5 is trying to get City Council reaction to Johnson's comments and will provide those whenever possible. ~ read more