Letter to the Editor: Postel responds to allegations

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Prior to now, I have made no public statement regarding the Police Jury’s decision to not renew my contract as Parish Administrator.  However, Mr. Mark Richardson’s January 30 letter titled “LPPJ did the right, but unpopular thing” compels me to respond.

First, I must say how thankful I am for the broad support from across Lincoln Parish extended to me and my family in this matter.  I place my service at the Police Jury among the highlights of my professional career and I am proud of what we accomplished during my time there.  I am especially grateful to the many Jury employees who I came to know and admire and I only want them to be able to continue to do the good job they have done. 

Mr. Richardson’s letter is an attempt to justify the broadly criticized actions of the Police Jurors who voted to terminate me.  The letter is totally misinformed and factually incorrect, and I cannot let that stand. 

Mr. Richardson argues that my part-ownership of a family business justified my termination as Administrator.

Here are the facts:

He is referring to Ruston Gameday Grill, LLC, which I own with my brother-in-law. We formed that business in June 2019, more than a year before I became employed by the Police Jury in July 2020. Our company is the food and beverage provider at the Ruston Sports Complex.  We won the contract through a competitive bid process that was scored by an expert panel set up by the City of Ruston. We do no business with the Parish or the Police Jury.  My brother-in-law actively manages the business.  I am essentially a silent partner. I spend very little time there, and whatever time I have spent has been after work hours.

When I was first interviewed by the Police Jury, I disclosed my involvement in the company.  No Juror expressed any concerns.  I then went personally to Lewis Jones, the Jury’s attorney, and asked him if my ownership posed any conflict of interest or ethical problem.  He told me that it did not.

At no point during the two and one-half years I worked as Parish Administrator did any Juror or any group of Jurors tell me that my ownership in the company was a problem.  The Jury never brought it up as a topic for discussion.

I don’t know who or what prompted Mr. Richardson to write his letter, but it is nothing more than a manufactured, after-the-fact effort to justify the Jury’s termination of me by repeating rumors and myths that have repeatedly been proven false.

 I’ve moved on.  This will be my only public statement on this matter.  Again, I am grateful for the opportunity to have been of service to the residents of Lincoln Parish, and my family and I are humbled by the outpouring of support we have received from across the Parish.  Thank you.             

Doug Postel