Jefferson Parish President, Inspector General at odds over open investigation

Jefferson Parish President, Inspector General at odds over open investigation

JEFFERSON PARISH, LA (WVUE) - An employee in Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni's administration is accused of not cooperating with a parish Office of Inspector General's investigation, but the administration argues the OIG is encouraging employees to deceive supervisors.

Wednesday, a 24th Judicial Court judge issued a subpoena for public information officer Antwan Harris ordering him to speak with inspector general investigators.

Jefferson Parish Inspector General David McClintock said his office made several attempts to talk with Harris about an open investigation but could not secure an interview.

On June 2nd, Harris was given a "Notice of Interview" to speak with investigators on June 7th, but Harris did not show up for the meeting, according to the subpoena.

McClintock cited a parish ordinance that requires all parish employees to cooperate with the OIG.

Fox 8 has confirmed the subpoena is involved in an open investigation. However, McClintock would not say what the investigation is about.

McClintock also did not disclose if Harris is the only parish employees to have gotten a Notice for Interview.

The IG said his office issues Notice of Interviews regularly and he got the court involved after he felt all other options to secure the interview with Harris had been exhausted.

Harris is the only employee to get a subpoena. He is required to appear on June 14th, at 10 a.m. at the IG's office.

Parish President Yenni's administration did confirm multiple employees have been issued Notice of Interviews from McClintock's office.

Friday, Yenni's office defended Harris and other employees in a statement.

"The IG's Office originally contacted Mr. Harris and requested his presence at the IG's office to be interviewed on an undisclosed topic. Mr. Harris immediately made himself available in the privacy of Mr. Harris' office at the Yenni building and the IG declined. Over the last several weeks the IG has contacted employees and encouraged them to leave their office and report to his office during regular working hours. The employees have also been instructed by the IG to not tell their supervisor, meaning for them to go AWOL. This could lead to severe consequences for our employees in addition to a decline in productivity. The Administration advised the IG not to encourage employees to lie or deceive their supervisors or to disappear from their work station without explanation. The Code of Ordinances requires that the IG have access to all Parish employees, and this Administration has never refused to cooperate with any investigation. We have never prevented access to employees. This subpoena was issued as a petulant response by the IG and was completely unnecessary to complete his investigation."

McClintock said this is the first time his office asked for a subpoena to secure an interview.

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