Friday, August 10, 2012

Kenner's #3 Man Out

After an apparent disagreement with Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni, the City of Kenner's Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Public Works, Pratt Reddy, has resigned. Sources say that Mayor Yenni requested, and received, Reddy's resignation.

The dispute apparently revolved around a city contractor that was friendly with Mayor Yenni. The Mayor's Office would not respond to requests for comment.

Reddy, who was Public Works Director under former Mayor Ed Muniz, continued in that role until Jose Gonzalez was hired. Gonzalez, who was Interim Jefferson Parish President for about a week after Aaron Broussard resigned, retired from Jefferson Parish government and, almost immediately, accepted the position of Kenner's Director of Public Works and Reddy was promoted to Deputy CAO.

Reddy's resignation was surprising considering Mayor Yenni is promoting a $25-30 Million bond refinancing/extension to support a series of projects under the guise of "Economic Development". The projects include rebuilding the Duncan Canal Bridge, expanding Napoleon Avenue to the Airport Access Road, and beautifying Chateau Blvd.

Mayor Yenni immediately promoted Internal Auditor Natalie Newton to the position of Deputy Chief Administrative Officer. In her capacity, Ms. Newton, who previously worked as an Insurance Administrator prior to joining the City of Kenner as Internal Auditor, will be responsible for overseeing all city departments except Finance and Public Works which will be the responsibility of former Deputy CAO and current CAO Mike Quigley.

Newton joined the City of Kenner in November 2010. Her hiring as Internal Auditor drew significant criticism as she was not a Certified Auditor.