Leslie Turk

LCG dept. head Melanie Lewis Edwards resigns

by Leslie Turk

[UPDATE: Melanie Lewis Edwards announced this morning that she is leaving city-parish government to return to work for the federal government but was not specific about her plans or new position. At the news conference, it was also announced that City-Parish President Joey Durel's assistant, Ben Berthelot, will assume the position of Community Development director Feb. 22. Berthelot's pay will skyrocket from $54,500 to $90,500, Edwards' salary as CD director. Check back with the INDsider for more on this development later.]

The INDsider has just learned that Melanie Lewis Edwards, director of Lafayette Consolidated Government's Community Development Department, announced her resignation, in French and English, to a group of co-workers in a tersely worded e-mail Friday. Edwards, who did not indicate why she resigned or where she is heading, did not immediately respond to an e-mail inquiry from The INDsider. Her e-mail reads:

Je vous écris pour vous announcer ma démission en tant que diréctrice de dévéloppement communitaire. Ma dernière journée de travail est 19 février. Merci à tous pour votre soutiens et assistance durant mon temps ici. Meilleurs v*ux. I am writing to announce my resignation as Director of Community Development effective February 19th. Thank you for your support and assistance during my time here.
The INDsider was also unable to reach LCG officials for comment. At 5:33 p.m. today, City-Parish President Joey Durel's office issued a media advisory concerning a 10 a.m. news conference tomorrow (Tuesday) to announce a management change within an LCG department. The news conference will be held in the Executive Conference Room on the 2nd floor of City Hall.

An LCG director since 2004, Edwards earned the lowest grade, D, on _The Independent Weekly'_s October 2009 department head job performance assessment. Though the Northside High grad came to the position with an impressive résumé, including a master of international affairs from Columbia University in New York and work for the U.S. State Department in various position in D.C. and overseas, she never found her footing as community development chief. Read the department head grading story, "Stacking Them Up," here.