DA’s Office offers opinion on purchase of front-end loader

Stock photo of a $154,907 Case 621G 2.5 yard front-end loader. Retail price is $249,851 but the parish purchased it on state contract for a savings of $94,943.

The Natchitoches Times published a front page story in the weekend, Feb. 6-7 edition entitled “Parish Council, President at odds over front-end loader purchase.”

Assistant District Attorney Steven P. Mansour, on behalf off the District Attorney’s Office, issued an opinion on the matter Tuesday, Feb. 9. The opinion was delivered via e-mail to Parish President John Richmond and all parish council members, John Salter, Patsy Ward-Hoover, Marty Cheatwood, Chris Paige and Jim Kilcoyne.

The Times obtained the opinion via a Freedom of Information Act request for public records Thursday, Feb. 11.

Of note in the document is the statement at the end of the opinion stating, “It is therefore the opinion of the Office of the District Attorney that President John Richmond was authorized to complete the purchase of the New Front End Loader from Scott Equipment.”

The opinion also states, “The Council’s action on this ‘Other Agenda Item’ was not validly presented as an Ordinance. This refers to the council discussion on the purchase that did not pass by a 3-2 vote of council members.

The entire opinion and exhibits are presented here for public review.

The official minutes of the meeting are also available in the Natchitoches Times public records in print and online.

Click on link to read: Richmond Opinion Letter 3.9.21