Mayor Hall responds to special meeting called on APD, says “reasonable notice” needed before information is shared

City Council President Catherine Davidson shares that meeting set for Wednesday evening will still happen
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.(KALB)
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 1:47 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall has responded to City Council President Catherine Davidson’s call for a special meeting about an investigation into the Alexandria Police Department.

On Tuesday, Councilwoman Davidson called for the special meeting, which included a subpoena to produce documents related to staffing and policies at the police department. The meeting was set for Wednesday, April 27 - just over 24 hours after the meeting was called.

In a letter to Councilwoman Davidson released Wednesday, Mayor Hall responded to her special meeting - stating that while he and his staff will be coordinating with the investigation “to the fullest extent contemplated by law,” the meeting would need to be rescheduled.

“Your letter, delivered on the afternoon of April 26 provided barely more than 24 hours notice of the investigative hearing,” said Mayor Hall. “This unnecessarily abrupt notice does not give my office adequate time to collect the documents you have subpoenaed, or to evaluate any potential legal issues.”

In the letter, Mayor Hall claimed that Councilwoman Davidson was “particularly vague” when calling for the special meeting and said that lack of information “complicates the preparation process expected of any public official scheduled to provide sworn testimony to the Council.”

Mayor Hall also referenced the Alexandria City Charter. In her initial call for the special meeting on APD, Councilwoman Davidson referenced Sec. 2-08, which reads:

  • The City Council may make investigations into the affairs of the city and the conduct of any city department, office or agency and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony and require the production of evidence. Any person who fails or refuses to obey any lawful order of the council shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished in such manner as the council shall fix by ordinance.

Councilwoman Davidson also referenced Sec. 2-23 in the subpoena for information about APD. Mayor Hall shared that the same section requires certain procedural rules for public hearings. These include:

  • The notice shall include:
    • A statement of the time, place and nature of the Hearing;
    • A statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held;
    • A reference to the particular sections of the statutes and rules involved;
    • A short and plain statement of the matters asserted.
  • Opportunity for the administration to respond and present evidence on all issues of fact involved and argument on all issues of law and policy involved and to conduct such cross-examination as may be required for a full and true disclosure of the facts; and
  • Opportunity for the administration to offer proof and objections.

Mayor Hall shared that the pre-requisites above need to take place before an investigative hearing. He also referenced another part of Sec. 2-23, which states:

  • All parties who do not waive their rights shall be afforded an opportunity for hearing after reasonable notice.

Mayor Hall emphasized “reasonable notice” needed for a hearing. In his letter, he asked that Councilwoman Davidson identify more details about a possible meeting at least 15 days before “to avoid any confusion or delay.”

KALB reached out to Councilwoman Davidson to see if the meeting was still schedule for Wednesday, April 27 at 5:30 p.m. She said the “duly called meeting of the City Council” would continue.

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