Jeff Davis Parish Police Jury denies American Press request to reveal administrator applicants

Published 3:56 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The Jeff Davis Parish Parish Police Jury has denied the American Press’  request for a list of applicants seeking the newly created parish administrator position.

The American Press filed a written request April 18 seeking to review or obtain a copy of the applicants under the Freedom of Information Act.

In a written response to the request Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Lance Person, who serves as legal counsel for the Police Jury, denied the request citing privacy concerns.

Email newsletter signup

“The Police Jury has determined the applicants’ names are not subject to public disclosure because of the potential negative effects on their livelihoods and families’ wellbeing, if their current employers learned of their application for the position,” Person said in an email to the American Press.

He said the Police Jury seeks to provide the applicants with their constitutional right of privacy, which arises from the Louisiana State Constitution.

“In particular, it states that every person shall be secure in his person, property, communications, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches, seizures or invasions of privacy,” he continued.

Police jurors also voted to deny the request Monday following a brief executive session to consider the newspaper’s request.

Police Juror Kori Myers motioned that the applicants’ names remain confidential until everything could be reviewed by its legal counsel.

Emerging from a second, hour-long executive session, police jurors accepted a special advisory committee’s recommendations to narrow the list to the top applicants and begin negotiations for the position. The negotiations will be conducted by Police Jury President Steve Eastman, Police Juror Butch Lafargue, Police Juror Wayne Fruge and Person.

After the meeting, Eastman said the applicants had been narrowed down from 15, but declined to indicate the number of finalists, only saying there were “several.”

An ordinance creating the position was adopted by the police jury in December.