Shreveport city council members speak on why the vote for CAO was denied

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SHREVEPORT, La (KTAL/KMSS) – The confirmation of Shreveport’s chief administrative officer ends in a tie vote in the city council. One councilmember explains why the confirmation was denied.

Councilman Greyson Boucher says for him his vote against the confirmation was because he didn’t have all the information and his questions answered.

Henry Whitehorn confirmation was rejected at Tuesday’s city council meeting in a three to three vote, Councilman James Green vote would have broken the tie, but he was absent from the meeting.

The three republican councilmembers James Flurry, Greyson Boucher, and John Nickelson all voted against the confirmation.

After the vote, a heated conversation between the council and Mayor Adrian Perkins lead to those council members walking out in the middle of the meeting.

Councilmember Greyson Boucher who voted against the confirmation says the walkout was for everyone to have a chance to cool off.

He also says his vote no, on the confirmation comes because he didn’t have an answer to why Sherrika Fields-Jones was becoming the Chief Financial Officer and not staying the Chief Administrator Officer.

“The more information we have and the more information we gain, tell us why Mrs. Jones was removed. Tell us why we need a CFO, give us some information, that vote could change why didn’t we do a national search, why did you say you wanted to do a national search a year and six months ago and now you’ve changed your mind. Everything can change the more information we get,” said Councilman Greyson Boucher of District D.

Councilman Boucher also mentioned the rejection of the vote was not an attack on the mayor.

Boucher also says if he receives answers to his questions his vote may be changed when the mayor puts the confirmation of Henry Whitehorn back on the agenda in two weeks.

Nickelson responded to our request later this afternoon for comment sending in a statement.

“Emotions sometimes run high at Government Plaza, and I understand Mayor Perkins was angry when the City Council refused yesterday to confirm Henry Whitehorn’s nomination to replace Sherricka Fields Jones as the City’s Chief Administrative Officer. I was disappointed by the manner in which Mayor Perkins chose to express his anger.

Ms. Fields Jones is a talented and widely respected professional who was unanimously confirmed by the Council in March 2019 (with my support) to serve as the City’s first African-American female CAO.  I see no reason Mayor Perkins should demote her, but if he insists on attempting to do so, I will oppose any nominee he suggests absent a comprehensive and transparent selection process to identify and recruit the best available candidate. 

I do not always agree with Mayor Perkins, but I respect him and his office, and I hope that future Council meetings are free of personal attacks and reflect the professionalism and decorum that the business of our City deserves.”

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