$112K settlement reached in wrongful termination lawsuit between CFO and ex-Port Allen mayor


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PORT ALLEN, Louisiana — Port Allen's chief financial officer has accepted a $112,500 settlement after eight hours of closed-door negotiations involving her wrongful termination lawsuit against former Mayor Demetric Slaughter.

The protracted legal dispute between Slaughter and Audrey McCain came to an end Monday, The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1E2hvkT).

"Sometimes, negotiations take a while," McCain said as she walked out of the courthouse with her attorneys.

The parties were initially in attendance to begin a two-day bench trial, but state District Court Judge Alvin Batiste encouraged both sides to try to settle the matter outside of the courtroom.

The City Council, McCain and Slaughter spent the day in back-and-forth discussions with their respective attorneys until all parties were in agreement on the settlement amount.

Taxpayers will pay for about three-quarters of the $112,500 bill, with the city's insurer putting forward the additional $29,000 owed to McCain.

The legal battle between the two women started in February 2013 when Slaughter, only a month into her first term as mayor, tried to fire McCain over accounting deficiencies.

McCain reacted by filing suit against Slaughter and quickly got her job back through a judge's order. That judge ruled the mayor lacked authority to dismiss McCain without City Council approval.

Upon McCain's return to work, the CFO said Slaughter made her job increasingly difficult by stripping McCain of her banking privileges with the city, among other decisions.

Slaughter eventually was recalled from office in November 2013, 11 months into her tenure as mayor.

"The biggest thing that happened today is getting this done and getting this chapter behind us," Councilman Hugh Rivere said. "We've been having a lot of positive things going on in the city lately and we want to keep moving in that direction."

Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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