Shreveport Facing Whistleblower Lawsuit
Former City of Shreveport Controller Ben Hebert has filed legal action against the City of Shreveport for wrongful termination. Shreveport attorney Allison Jones, with the local firm Downer, Jones, Marino & Wilhite filed the lawsuit on behalf of S. Ben Hebert.
Hebert alleges he was wrongfully fired from his position as Controller for the City of Shreveport because he refused to participate in 'financial improprieties he believed violated the laws of the State of Louisiana and governing policies of the City of Shreveport.'
In a statement released by Attorney Allison Jones, she stated:
“Clearly there is a management problem under the current administration at the City of Shreveport. This lawsuit is about the illegal termination of Mr. Hebert’s employment within days of his reporting and refusing to participate in financial improprieties. Such conduct by City leaders is retaliatory and illegal. This lawsuit is about justice for Mr. Hebert.”
“I am saddened that I have had to file suit to vindicate the illegal termination of my employment by the City of Shreveport. It takes courage to be a whistleblower, and I am proud that I was taught that type of courage which I try to live each day. The of City of Shreveport, and its current management, must be held accountable for its illegal activities. That is why I found the courage to file this lawsuit and to disclose what has happened at the City of Shreveport, and what happened to me when I refused to participate. No whistle-blower, truth teller, or justice seeker should have to live in fear of malicious retaliation or in fear of losing his job.” stated Mr. Hebert.
In the petition filed by Jones, Hebert claims he “objected to the failure of the City of Shreveport to pay certain employee payroll taxes for pension and retirement funds due to the State of Louisiana and to the Internal Revenue Service.” When Hebert objected to this perceived failure by the city, he was told “stop spending so much time playing with the IRS, there are more important things you should be taking care of.”
In addition to problems with city taxes, according to the petition filed:
Hebert objected and refused to approve certain travel expenses of Mayor Adrian Perkins through the year 2021, and specifically during the period May 21, 2021 through December 31, 2021 plaintiff objected to and refused to approve travel expenses of Mayor Perkins which did not comply with the laws of the State of Louisiana and policies of the City of Shreveport.
Shreveport City Councilman John Nickelson requested an audit by the Legislative Auditor into the travel expense reports of Mayor Perkins. The results of that audit were released a couple of weeks ago showing improprieties in city's travel expense forms, some where Mayor Perkins signed and approved his own travel expenses.
Louisiana's Biggest Political Scandals
Read More: Who are the Early Favorites to be Louisiana's Next Governor?