The council last month asked City Attorney Vernon McManus for a detailed report regarding Robbie Arnaud’s challenge of Dies removing his firm from the city’s wrecker rotation list.
Attorney Michael Robinson argued Arnaud’s case at that meeting, one attended by dozens of people carrying signs supporting Arnaud’s firm.
He subsequently filed suit asking the court to force Dies to put Robbie’s back on the list. A hearing has not yet been held.
At Thursday’s agenda-setting meeting, Robinson told city officials he felt McManus should not represent Dies in the case, because he didn’t think the city should pay the chief’s legal fees in an action he called personal not professional .
Dies was not at Thursday’s meeting.
When he took office, Dies said he was dropping Robbie’s because of complaints about the service and because the firm is outside the city.
Arnaud, through Robinson, contends there were no complaints and the action was the result of him and his family supporting Dies’ opponent in last fall’s election.
Arnaud and the opponent, Randy Fontenot, are brothers-in-law.
At Thursday’s meeting Robinson also asked why Dies found it necessary to retain a consultant for his department.
Robinson said his query was as a private citizen, not in relation to his role in the wrecker hassle.
According to a contract and invoice shown by Robinson, Dies has employed Jeanne Joubert to serve as senior operating advisor for the department at a rate of $2,400 monthly.
The first invoice, for the period Feb. 15-March 15, is dated March 30, with an accompanying purchase order dated April 5.
The invoice has a May 3 notation “per Mayor Moody” that it is not to be paid until the next City Council meeting.
Dies was still out of town at training on Friday.
According to the Feb. 1 agreement with Joubert, she will lead and facilitate development of a strategic plan; lead and facilitate multi-disciplinary teams in the development of policies and procedures; perform stakeholder liaison with community, state and federal agencies; conduct research related to community policing, information technology and performance assessment; and serve as routine crisis and public information officer and training development officer for the department.