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Police jurors to review Postel’s job

Evidence of ‘issues’ gathered, nature unknown
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
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Update: Information about a public records request added - Sept. 7 @ 9 a.m.

Some members of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury want to fire Parish Administrator Doug Postel at the jury’s meeting Tuesday, claiming there is evidence of multiple “job performance issues.” But they have not revealed what those issues may be.

District 8 juror Skip Russell said he met with Postel last week, telling him “there was a majority of the jurors who were wanting to make a change” and asking Postel to resign “before we have a meeting and all of this becomes public.”

Russell wouldn’t elaborate on what “all of this” was beyond saying he and like-minded jurors have identified approximately 20 issues relating to Postel’s job performance.

Postel confirmed the meeting occurred and that he had been asked to resign, saying he had no intention of doing so.

He said that when asked, Russell would not tell him what the complaints against him may be.

“There’s no way that I can respond to mysterious allegations of unknown source,” Postel said. “I have done nothing unethical, immoral, or anything that anyone with any common sense would perceive as wrong.

“I’m hopeful that anything that has been done by a minority of the jurors has been done in an ethical and legal manner.”

The Leader obtained a copy of a letter four jurors — Logan Hunt, T.J. Cranford, Matt Pullin and Glenn Scriber — sent to Russell on Sunday. The letter admonishes Russell, jury President Richard Durrett and Vice President Milton Melton for allegedly engaging an independent group to investigate “unethical, not above board, and inappropriate” actions by Postel, including tracking his whereabouts during work hours, without the full jury’s knowledge.

The letter claims Russell falsely told Postel the 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s office had already reviewed the evidence against him and says Russell’s actions “could easily be viewed as extortion.”

“This is not how the Lincoln Parish Police Jury should be handling its business, behind closed doors, with untruths and ultimatums,” the four jurors say in their letter.

Russell, who said Tuesday morning he hadn’t read the letter, said he told Postel “ someone has been keeping up with where he’s going and what he’s doing, to determine whether he’s on the job, and that he was working for the police jury during the time he’s supposed to be.”

As for the DA’s involvement, Russell denies he ever said the DA’s office had reviewed the evidence, but simply that a meeting had taken place.

“Someone from the police jury met with the DA’s office, and therefore we are moving forward,” Russell said.

Representatives of the DA’s office could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The four jurors’ letter claims Russell told them over the phone that “we don’t want to prosecute, and we don’t want to bring charges.”

When asked by the Leader if any of the allegations against Postel may be criminal in nature, Russell maintained they were related to “job performance.”

The letter ends with a public records request for the "documentation" of evidence against Postel that those jurors claim Russell, Durrett and Melton have in their possession. The Leader has also filed a similar request and as of Wednesday morning had received no records.

The parish administrator is the jury’s highest hired position, overseeing the more than 150 employees who work for the jury across various departments.

The jury typically evaluates the administrator yearly in January. Russell said he and a majority of the jury plan to address their issues with Postel at Tuesday’s meeting since he has declined to resign.

Postel said he has nothing to hide.

“I think it is obvious to everyone what the issue at hand is in this situation, and it has nothing to do with my performance,” he said.