Folks, just when you think things can’t get any zanier in Jefferson Parish government lets add Armand Kerlec to the grist mill as Gambit tells the story of a recent lawsuit in Jefferson Parish that also provides a few clues about the myriad of ways the Parish spends tax dollars including defending hostile work environment suits:
…..a federal judge in New Orleans cleared the way for a March 15 trial in an atypical race discrimination suit against Jefferson Parish. The plaintiff, an Italian Jew and former parish sign technician, alleged that his supervisor repeatedly harassed him with Nazi slogans and racial and ethnic slurs at the parish traffic and engineering department. The case settled late last week.
Charles A. “Chuck” Simon Jr. of Metairie brought the lawsuit against the parish for the alleged acts of his former supervisor, Armand Kerlec, 59, of Harahan. Both men are white, and both worked at the parish traffic and engineering department in Harahan. Simon was terminated in 2005, shortly after Hurricane Katrina.
Using the Hurricane as a reason to purge employees is a topic we visited on 2 occasions as it related to the Parish’s internal audit staff and though the Gambit article does not directly say it it is pretty clear Simon was fired because he evidently belonged to the wrong religion as we continue:
In court filings, Kerlec acknowledged using Nazi salutes and saying “Heil Hitler” on the job. The supervisor, a 32-year parish employee, characterized the gestures as “jokes” that were never directed at anyone.
But offend they did and certainly that was not lost on this 32 year parish employee whom evidently remains on the job despite all this. Mr Simon had some backup in the form of former Parish employees who evidently witnessed Kerlec’s socially deviant behavior for themselves:
Brian G. Johnson, who worked for the parish from 1980 to 1990 — more than a decade before Simon was hired by the parish — gave a detailed account of Kerlec’s antics and racial slurs against Jews, blacks and Italians. “Brian Johnson avers that he observed Kerlec make the ‘heil Hitler’ salute in the work place on ‘many’ occasions,” the judge wrote, adding, “Eric Scott wrote an affidavit stating that Kerlec would call [Simon] ‘dumb Dago’ and Kerlec would regularly perform a Nazi salute in front of [Simon]. Most significantly, [Simon] testified that, on the night he was fired, Kerlec told him, ‘I’m firing your dumb Dago ass.'”
Through this suit Parish residents gain further clarity on exactly the type of person that flourishes in Parish Government. Is it any wonder things are such a mess?