Jeff Davis releases names of parish administrator applicants

Published 4:36 pm Thursday, May 16, 2024

The Jeff Davis Parish Police Jury released the names of applicants for the newly created parish administrator position Thursday, a week after Ben Boudreaux was chosen for the job.

The release comes after separate public record requests from the American Press and KPLC-TV seeking information on candidates for the position.

The police jury initially denied the requests citing the applicants’ freedom to search for new job opportunities without risking their current employment and families’ well-being, but reversed its decision following an executive session Wednesday amid the threat of a legal action.

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“We will turn over the names of the applicants under protest because we are being forced to by one of the news outlets,” Police Jury President Steve Eastman said.

Police Juror Butch Lafarge, who is against publicly releasing the names, said half the applicants would probably lose their jobs after the information was released.

“The police jury initially wanted to do their best to protect the applicants, but when threatened with a lawsuit and you have an actual legal discussion, then you are putting the taxpayers’ dollars at stake,” Police Jury legal counsel Lance Person said after the meeting. “It’s probably a difficult fight and taxpayers’ dollars are probably going to trump it.”

Person provided information on the applicants to local media via email showing 16 candidates had applied for the position. The information included the applicants’ education and professional background, but all personal information was redacted.

“There’s several people that applied that are not from Jeff Davis Parish or working in Jeff Davis Parish that I’d really like to see come work in Jeff Davis Parish,” Eastman said, highlighting the applicants’ qualifications. “We just don’t have the spot for them. Somebody in this parish needs to hire those people. They were very good candidates.”

The applicants include: Brian Guillory, director of operations at Avail Hospital; Briona Richard, former customer service/sales representative at Arise Solutions; Clair Hebert Marceaux, senior project manager at Alliance Transportation Group; Danielle Bright, former associate director, student aid at Lamar University; Dorian Deaville, greeter at Zeus Cafe, artist at Painting with a Twist, sales professional at M.B. Rich Jewelry and server at KD’s dinner; Joey McNamara, director of dining services at Chartwells Higher Education in Lake Charles; Kenneth Charles Jr., loan officer at James Ward Federal Credit Union; Kristi R. Boudreaux, a marketing, creative and public relations director; Lacie Wentzel, director of recreation and wellness programming at McNeese State University; Lindsey Williamson, former time and expense associate at Areotek in Hanover, MD; Mark W. Herbert, former government and community relations officer at the Office of Motor Vehicles; Samuel Cormier, operations maintenance coordinator at Westlake Corporation; Scott Rogers, attorney; Steve Berry, Acadian/SMS safety specialist in Lafayette and Thomas Henry Guinn, mayor of Jennings.

The position was advertised in print in the American Press, Jennings Daily News and Baton Rouge Advocate. It was also posted on the Advocate’s online job site and at multiple locations during the Louisiana Police Jury Associations convention.