Walter Pierce

Durel proposes abolishing LCG dept., cutting positions

by Walter Pierce

The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider an introductory ordinance this evening that would abolish the department of Criminal Justice Support Services and Housing Codes Inspection. The measure would eliminate three positions within that department, including the administrator, and farm out the duties conducted by the office to other departments within Lafayette Consolidated Government. A final vote on the ordinance is set for Sept. 15.

In an Aug. 21 letter to council Chairman Purvis Morrison, City-Parish President Joey Durel provides reorganization charts that reassign 35 of the department’s 38 employees, disbursing them among offices in the community development, planning, police and chief administrative departments. “This administrative reorganization reassigns responsibilities and staff of Criminal Justice Support Services and Housing Codes Inspection to departments better suited to manage them,” Durel writes.

Durel’s proposal eliminates the position of CJSS head Marcus Bruno, who makes $31.06 an hour, and also abolishes the positions of pre-trial monitoring coordinator Russell Castille, $18.16 per hour, and pre-trial monitoring assistant Philip Begnaud, $11.35 an hour. Durel believes the latter two positions are “unnecessary duplications.” All three civil service employees would be reassigned under the proposal.

A source close to local government tells the INDsider the proposal could prove to be a test of Durel’s relationship with Lafayette’s black community and its primary representation on the CPC: councilmen Brandon Shelvin (District 3) and Kenneth Boudreaux (District 4); the three employees whose positions are being abolished under the proposed ordinance are African-American.

Read the full ordinance, along with proposed reorganization charts and Durel's letter to Morrison here.