Emergency St. Bernard meeting ends almost immediately - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Emergency St. Bernard meeting ends almost immediately

Power struggle between president, council continues. (FOX 8 Photo) Power struggle between president, council continues. (FOX 8 Photo)
CHALMETTE, LA (WVUE) -

St. Bernard Parish President Dave Peralta called an emergency meeting Friday, but it ended almost as soon as it began. Only three council members could make the 9 a.m. meeting, and a quorum could not be established.

Peralta called the meeting because he wants to hire attorneys to represent the parish against IT company Paratech, and he needs the approval of council members to do it.

The IT company filed suit last fall after council members said they wanted to cancel its contract with the parish. Friday morning's meeting was just the latest in the back-and-forth between council members and the parish president.

Earlier this week, the council overrode Peralta's vetoes of two ordinances that sought to end the contract. That led to Peralta declaring a state of emergency, which council members canceled.

Meanwhile, Peralta still faces charges in two different parishes, accused of using campaign funds to gamble and stalking his ex-wife.

"President Peralta, we asked him to resign over a year and a half ago, and it's just been one more major embarrassment after the other," says Councilman Ray Lauga. "I mean this is - if he really had the interest of the people of St. Bernard Parish, he would do what's right and step away or at least keep a much, much lower profile. I mean, this is like, it's getting bigger and bigger. I can't even make this stuff up the things he's doing, and it's really just embarrassing and it's really sad for the people of St. Bernard Parish."
Peralta could not be reached for comment after Friday morning's short meeting, but earlier, he told FOX 8 he also wants to hire an attorney to represent the executive branch of St. Bernard Parish government. Peralta says he wants a judge to look at the parish's charter and rule on what powers he has and what council members have the power to do.
Nothing was decided Friday and no meeting was scheduled for the near future.
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