Hadden-Scott to be panel's attorney if Parker appeals termination

City Attorney Althea Hadden-Scott will represent the Pine Bluff Parks and Recreation Commission should former parks and recreation department Director Angela Parker appeal her Sept. 23 firing to circuit court, commissioners unanimously decided in an emergency meeting Monday.

Only five of the panel’s nine members attended the brief meeting, but that number represented a quorum. Commission Chairman Kami Hunt told her fellow panelists — Duke Fakouri, Carson Fields, Krandon Henry and Roy Tolson — that Parker is supposedly appealing, but a Commercial reporter was advised Tuesday afternoon that no such filing had been recorded in the Jefferson County circuit clerk’s office.

Meanwhile, efforts to contact Parker for comment have been unsuccessful.

Parker’s dismissal was favored in two votes and based on her “failure to properly supervise employees and parks,” which Hunt said was documented in a recent performance review on Parker, a long-time employee who was to become eligible for retirement in 2017. Hunt said Parker had not satisfied commissioners’ expectations.

The first tabulation on the dismissal produced a 3-2 nod with Hunt and Commissioners Chris Blunt and Jeff Pulliam favoring the action. Fakouri and Tolson cast nays and Fields abstained.

After Hunt announced Parker’s termination, attending senior Alderman Bill Brumett told Hunt that a panel majority of five votes were required for such a decision according to Assistant City Attorney Joe Childers. Soon after, Henry and Commissioner Jonathan Frazier arrived, more than an hour after the meeting had commenced.

Commissioners than agreed to the second vote, which resulted in a 6-2 count with Fields, Frazier and Henry joining the majority. Fakouri and Tolson repeated their opposition. Commissioner Fabian Fontenot did not attend.

The panel’s personnel committee recommended Parker’s dismissal to the full commission on Dec. 27, 2012. But two weeks later, Parker was instead placed on an extended probation.