Saturday, May 11, 2013

Kenner Fire Chief Hellmers Loses Appeal; Must Repay City

Last May, I wrote about Kenner Fire Chief John Hellmers receiving Supplemental Educational Compensation from the City of Kenner while not possessing the required certifications.

The City of Kenner undertook an Internal Investigation and agreed that Hellmers was improperly receiving extra money that he wasn’t entitled to.
On September 26th, Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni sent Hellmers a letter stating that he needed to repay the City $2,950 and that Hellmers was suspended for 3 days without pay.

Hellmers’ appealed the decision to the Civil Service Board claiming that the investigation into this transgression took longer than 60-days, thus voiding any punishment.
The Civil Service Board dropped the suspension but reiterated the City’s claim on repayment.

Rather than pay the restitution gracefully, Hellmers, who earns over $102,000 in base salary alone, decided to appeal to the 24th JDC.
24th JDC Division A Judge Ray Steib agreed with the Civil Service Board and told Hellmers to pay up.

Judge Steib also dismissed Hellmers’ claim to dismiss the proceedings entirely due to his claim of negligence on Mayor Yenni’s part for not imposing punishment within the 60-day window.
Unfortunately for Kenner residents, the Attorney representing the City didn’t seek repayment of his costs from Hellmers, leaving taxpayers on the dole for thousands more in legal fees from Hellmers’ appeals.

So, not only did the Kenner Fire Chief get an interest-free loan from taxpayers that he didn’t deserve, we’re also on the hook for more money in legal fees.
Only in YenniVille.