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Independence board hears that alderman doesn’t live in town

Posted: Wednesday, December 17, 2014 | Views: 4087

Independence board hears that alderman doesn’t live in town


INDEPENDENCE—Mayor Michael Ragusa says he’s confirmed that one of his five town aldermen is not a registered resident of the town, but that may not be enough to oust the councilman, who says he’s become a target because he’s no longer the mayor’s “yes man” on the board.

Ragusa announced during Tuesday’s board of aldermen meeting that freshman Jimmy Gregory does not live in the town limits of Independence.

Ragusa says he recently confirmed the claim with Tangipahoa Parish Registrar of Voters John Russell.

This marks a complete reversal after Ragusa two years ago campaigned for Gregory. At that time, Ragusa claimed Gregory lived inside town limits.

Gregory’s four fellow aldermen came to his defense Tuesday night, as did town attorney Amber Amore, who said a late-term residency question would not immediately invalidate Gregory’s post on the board.

Gregory laughed off the claims, announcing that he was being targeted because he had lost favor with the administration. He said he was no longer Ragusa’s “yes man,” alluding to months of disputes between not only the mayor and Gregory, but also Ragusa and the entire board, who at one time or another butted heads with the administration.

Town officials were promised a report on how to proceed with the alleged Gregory residency issue at next month’s meeting.

In other business, the town had no resolution to reports of missing money in the Independence utility coffers. Last month, officials reported that between $3,000-$8,000 in water funds was missing. An investigation into the missing funds continues, but no information has been offered on how the money disappeared nor how the town will address it in the future. 


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