EBR Parish Attorney’s job may be on the line over storm water fees

Numerous credible sources say East Baton Rouge Parish Attorney Anderson “Andy” Dotson could be next on the chopping block when it comes to resignations/terminations/removals over the proposed storm water fees.

The Asst. Chief Administrative Officer, Kelvin Hill, has already resigned as of Oct. 20th.

That proposed fee will no longer move forward giving many in East Baton Rouge Parish a sigh of relief. A public hearing is scheduled for Oct. 26th because per law, the East Baton Rouge Metro council must still hold a public hearing since it was already introduced at the previous council meeting. However, Mayor Sharon Weston Broome has asked the item be removed off the agenda.

Several EBR Council members have been vocal saying they were hurt and angry that they were misled when it came to the proposed fee. The two main people speaking to council members were Parish Attorney Andy Dotson and Hill.

Anderson Dotson | Storm Water Fees
Anderson “Andy” Dotson

On Sept. 21st, the council went into executive session to discuss giving $250,000 to Beveridge & Diamond for representing the city-parish on the Clean Water Act in connection to the storm water utility fee. The item was put on the agenda by Dotson. The discussions in executive session are private, but sources have said “things did get heated.”

At the Oct. 12th meeting, sources say Dotson and Hill allegedly “misled” council members when they said there were under a gag order and there was a rush to get this to the voters.

“We’re on a time frame right now in dealing with the situation we’re dealing him. Like he said, we’re under a gag order in one of the agreements that we can’t go too far into it public wise,” said Dotson to council members on Oct. 12th.

Councilwoman Jen Racca asked, “If there’s a failure to move forward tonight, what would be the consequences of that?”

“Personally, I don’t know if I can answer that question with absolute certainty but I believe it will lead us towards enforcement action,” replied Hill.

“In order for us to get to talking about the fee and having a discussion about the fee, the law requires us to establish this framework first, that’s what I call it. This utility district that we’re asking you to pass tonight is the framework for what the city-parish wants to do ultimately which will include and request a fee,” said Dotson.

Since then, two separate federal agencies have said there never was a non-disclosure agreement preventing anyone from speaking about the fee and there was no rush from the EPA to rush and get the item voted on quickly.

Federal agencies claim no knowledge of Mayor Broome’s stormwater utility fee NDA

It’s why several council members believe they were misled and are now considering moving forward with the removal process for Dotson.

A hearing must be set giving Dotson 10 days’ notice of the hearing. As of now, a hearing date has not been set. 

Dotson was unanimously approved by the metro council in mid 2019 as the parish attorney. 

Unfiltered with Kiran did reach out to Dotson for a response to the report. As of yet, the call and text have not been returned. 

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