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Party may be over for Caddo's Hanna

Who says you can’t party in Shreveport like you can in New Orleans? We have parish administrators and governor’s aides who actions testify otherwise.

Of course, having multiple drinks at a time is not a reason to fire Caddo Parish Administrator Bill Hanna. But a questionable job performance in terms of effectiveness is. Just in the past two years a number of incidences have occurred that point to his waning effectiveness.

  • He subjected the parish to an embarrassing personnel episode when a former high-level employee openly complained about his behavior, including what she described as obvious inebriation
  • He has failed to amicably negotiate through a dispute with the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Department concerning reimbursements to house prisoners
  • After issuing on behalf of the parish campaign materials insisting that voter defeat last July 17 in Caddo Parish of a 0.15% sales tax would cause massive cutbacks in service for juvenile justice, voters called his bluff and defeated the measure, and the sky hasn’t fallen yet
  • At least one parish commissioner has openly questioned his leadership and, in a maladroit maneuver, asked for his resignation

    Neither has Hanna acquitted himself well in this current episode by his statements. As the guy who launched the private investigation correctly notes, when Hanna protests that this revelation came as result of a vendetta against him, even if true it does not change the fact that Hanna was engaging in this behavior. Further, it makes it look like Hanna would have continued (if we take the Commission’s statement at face value) to flout the Commission’s wishes in this regard had this information never been uncovered. (And, honestly, when you’re drinking four fingers worth of vodka with a single digit’s worth of mixer three to four times during a lunch hour that may well affect your judgment on the road and on the job.)

    Hanna always has been a kind of accidental parish commissioner. He was mayor of Shreveport from 1978-82, having previously been a car dealer and, to be charitable, found that running a city is not the same thing, so with discretion being the better part of valor he chose not to run for reelection. He eventually drifted into Caddo Parish’s assistant administrator’s job and happened to be on the scene when the Commission finally tossed the corrupt (if unconvicted) Judy Durham out of the top job in 1996 to inherit it.

    As the parish’s financial difficulties become more pressing, and several experienced parish commissioners leaving because of term limits in 2007, now would be a good time to break in a younger, more energetic, and less controversial leader. Perhaps Hanna, if need be with a nudge that the Commission seems strangely unwilling to give, should reprise his decision he made as mayor and depart gracefully and soon.
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