Judge Voids Actions Taken By The Town Of Homer
Monday, during district court proceedings, Judge Jimmy Teat officially voided the actions taken by the Town of Homer during a February 11 meeting in which it voted to abolish the local police department and cut the police chief’s title and rate of pay.
The ruling, issued in Claiborne Parish District Court, is a result of the Town of Homer violating Louisiana’s open meetings law last month which by law voided its decision.
Monday's court proceedings were to address a petition for an injunction filed by Homer Police Chief Russell Mills in an effort to fight the Town’s decision to disband the police department and adjust his title and rate of pay.
Teat, who presided over the proceedings, also ordered the Town to reimburse Mills for legal expenses incurred in connection to the town’s decision. Those expenses are currently being reviewed by the court.
In a special council meeting March 2, the Town acknowledged that it failed to comply with the state’s open meetings law in its February session.
Teat said that all parties — the mayor, Town of Homer , the chief and the police department all need to work together.
“You will realize it if you disband your police department of how criminals take advantage immediately if there is no police department in this town,” Teat said.
Mills’ attorney, Pam Breedlove, filed an amendment to the initial injunction Monday morning after learning that the council introduced Ordinance 13-003, during a special meeting March 2, which addresses amending the 2013 budget of the Town of Homer with respect to the police department and the town’s general fund.
The Town of Homer is being represented by its regular legal counsel, Marcus Patillo and newly-hired attorney Thomas Arceneaux.
“I’m hopeful that attorney’s Arceneaux and Patillo will sit down with the town to go over what they can and cannot do” Teat said.
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