Bastrop settles nearly 15-year-old firefighters lawsuit
Bastrop, La. (KNOE) - The City of Bastrop has settled a nearly 15-year-old lawsuit.
Mayor Betty Alford-Olive announced on June 30 that the city had reached an agreement to settle a 2008 lawsuit that claimed the city’s pay practice for firefighters violated state law.
“We appreciate our firefighters,” Mayor Alford-Olive told KNOE. “We wanted them to have the justice that was deserved to them.”
In 2019, a court ruled the city must pay the 32 former firefighters around $1.7 million. However, the settlement will be for half that amount.
“So we have a partial settlement,” explained Bastrop City Attorney Rodney Pierre. “It’s gonna be a one-for-one deal. So for every dollar we pay, they give us a dollar credit, so everybody came to the table.”
Mayor Alford-Olive says the deal was only made possible after voters approved a property tax in 2021 by only nine votes.
“I do credit the previous administration for having the foresight to come up with a viable solution by putting the tax on the ballot and the voters for having voted on it,” said Mayor Alford-Olive.
The mayor adds the firefighters or their families should begin to see the money soon.
“We have already budgeted our first payment,” Mayor Alford-Olive explained. “We have already issued a check that has gone into a trust account for disbursement, and the other attorney will be dispersing those payments to the firefighters.”
The property tax that was approved in 2021 will run for ten years.
Copyright 2022 KNOE. All rights reserved.