BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – For weeks, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and city leaders said an NDA between them and a federal agency prohibited them from discussing penalties for failing to comply with the Clean Water Act.

This week it was revealed the NDA with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is simply not true. Mayor Broome said the miscommunication comes from the Parish Attorney’s Office.   

“While I have respect for the Parish Attorney’s Office, I will tell you that the Parish Attorney’s Office works primarily for the Metro Council, why, because they are hired by the Metro Council, they are under the auspices of the Metro Council,” Broome said. 

Broome said the EPA and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) gave the City-Parish until January to produce a plan to fix the stormwater drainage issue with a source of funding. If not, there would be penalties.  

“The reason why we had a sense of urgency about getting the fee done was because of the timeline that we were given to submit a plan,” Broome said. “And my concern is that the impact of federal enforcement would be more severe in terms of the financial impact versus the fee that we were proposing.” 

Six council members have filed a public records request to the parish’s attorney demanding all texts, phone calls, call logs, and emails from Broome and others related to the NDA and the fee.  

“I don’t know what they are looking for because I can only speak for myself at this moment,” said Broome. “Everything I have said, everything I have done as mayor-president has certainly been above board.” 

Broome said someone will face the consequences for the miscommunication that has spread.   

“That’s why there’s a level for accountability that needs to take place and I definitely believe that accountability will be occurring in the future,” said Broome.

The stormwater utility fee might be dead in the water, but the January deadline still looms. Broome said it is unlikely that a new NDA will be utilized.  

 “It is not my intention to introduce any type of NDA, in fact, I can’t introduce any type of NDA. That was something that was introduced by the Parish Attorney’s Office and based on what we heard there is no need for an NDA,” said Broome. “I don’t think the Parish Attorney’s Office is going to be recommending any type of NDAs. It is my understanding from other legal councils that NDAs are not historically of government and government communicating with government.” 

On Friday, the mayor’s office accepted the resignation of Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Kelvin Hill. Hill was over drainage improvements.

Today, I accepted the resignation of Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, Kelvin Hill. Mr. Hill has been a valued and loyal member of my administration for more than three years. His leadership has been instrumental on initiatives such as MOVEBR, drainage improvements, and disaster response and restoration.

I thank him for his dedicated service to City-Parish and wish him well in his future endeavors.

Office of the Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome