Bastrop settles nearly 15-year-old firefighters lawsuit

The city will pay over $800,000 to 32 firefighters who claimed in 2008 that the city’s pay practice violated state law.
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 10:13 PM CDT
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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.

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