Vermilion Parish Police Jury can’t legally cut pay

The Vermilion Parish Police Jury learned that they can’t cut their pay because it is unconstitutional, and they also voted to stop letting tax payers pay their way to the state convention each year.
Police Jury attorney Paul Moresi III advised the jurors last week that they can vote to reduce their pay. The vote had to be unanimous and it was.
But now Moresi informed the jurors that they can’t vote to take a pay cut because the law does allow it.
He said the jury can’t reduce their pay during their term. They can, however, vote to reduce the pay for jurors for future terms.
Each juror makes $1,600 per month. They voted last week to trim their pay by 20 percent, which was a cut of $320 a month. It would save the police jury just under $50,000 per year.
Moresi informed the jurors that there is no law that says each juror can’t donate 20 percent back to the police jury once they get paid.
The police jury did cut $4,500 from the budget by voting to no longer let the Vermilion Parish taxpayers pay their way to the Police Jury state convention.
Each year, the taxpayers would pay around $4,500 so jurors could attend the convention in cities such as Shreveport, New Orleans, Lafayette and Lake Charles.
Next year’s three-day convention will be held in Lake Charles.
Police Juror Wayne Touchet made the motion to stop using money out of the general fund to pay for jurors to attend the conventions.
Touchet said he wants jurors to pay their own way to the state convention.
Police Jury President Ron Darby, who attends the convention, tried to convince the jurors to continue letting tax payers pay for their trip to the state convention.
When Touchet made his motion to stop the police jury from paying, Darby quickly said, “Wayne, don’t start that.”
Darby argued that despite recent budget cuts, the police jury should continue paying for jurors to attend the convention.
“We should wait until the end of the year and see where we are financially,” said Darby. “We found ways to cut the budget to balance it.
“I thought we agreed to wait until the first quarter of next year before we make any more cuts.”
Touchet reminded Darby that the convention is in February and hotel reservations need to be made soon, which means the police jury has to spend money soon.
Police juror Errol Domingues said, “If we can’t reduce our salaries, we need to do something.”
The police jurors, including Darby, voted to stop letting the tax payers pay their way to the state convention.

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