Leesville council members sued by city

By By Lauren Manary / American Press

LEESVILLE — A state district court judge on Wednesday denied summary judgment motions from both sides in a lawsuit the city

filed against two council members.

The city is seeking $120,000, the amount it says council members Milton “Danny” Dowd and William “Mike” Elliott received in

insurance benefits through the city’s health plan — Elliot since 2002 and Dowd since 2006.

The city says the two are ineligible to participate in the plan because they aren’t full-time employees and that the city

charter does not allow council members to vote for more compensation.

Attorney Howard Gist, who represents

the council members, said at Wednesday’s hearing that the city had

included an item in

its budget each year to cover the cost of the insurance premiums.

Because the council had voted on it, he said, it was allowed

by the city.

He said that because the city’s policy is to fully control and interpret who is eligible to opt in to the plan and because

former City Administrator Elaine Prewitt filed the paperwork, the city was aware and effectively permitted them to enroll.

Additionally, Gist said, two other city officials — former City Marshal Robert Pynes and former city prosecutor Clay Williams

— were enrolled in the same program but have not faced similar scrutiny.

Trial has been set for Dec. 11-12.