Clarkson speaks out following staff revolt - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Clarkson speaks out following staff revolt

Council President Clarkson speaks out about staff rift Council President Clarkson speaks out about staff rift
New Orleans, La. -

City Council President Jackie Clarkson is quick to point out, her style can be a bit demanding.

During what Clarkson describes as a hectic council meeting Thursday, she says, members of her staff became fed up.

"Well they just said they wanted a break – fine," Clarkson said. "It's hard for me to be commanding, sending out commands and running a council meeting too. And I probably shouldn't try to do that and maybe I won't do that in the future. I don't know."

The five staffers left the meeting abruptly. Friday, inside Clarkson's City Hall office, their desks sat empty.

"I have the best staff at City Hall and so, as a result, I push 'em even harder," Clarkson said. "Would I work for me? No. That's what I can say. But they've been wonderful and they just got tired of me, but I'm not gonna change."

It's a situation unlike any political analyst Silas Lee has ever seen.

"You hear sometimes of individuals expressing dissatisfaction, but an entire staff of an elected official walking out, not just one day, but apparently two days and it's a big question mark about their future, that is unprecedented," Dr. Lee said. "That's a very big office because it is citywide, so you cannot afford to have any interruption in services for three, four, or five days."

One council employee filled-in, answering phones Friday.

While Clarkson hadn't talked with any of the staff members by mid-afternoon, she said she fully expects all of them to show up for work Monday.

"It's not easy to work for me, but it's a privilege to work on this council wing, I can tell you, and so I don't expect anybody to not come back," she said. "In the meantime, this office is covered and all my duties outside this office is covered and I'll be on duty all weekend as usual. And we'll all be back Monday morning as usual and so, if there's a problem Monday morning, I'll call you."

Clarkson's staff members did not get back to us for comment.

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