James Lavigne, the outgoing mayor of Pearl River, Louisiana, was supposed to give a farewell speech on Saturday, but his final message was too short to be a speech and it definitely wasn’t sweet.
Upon seeing that the media was there to cover the event — it was a public meeting announced through Facebook and other channels, so nothing unusual there — he stormed out of city hall and opted for this.
“Facebook can kiss my a**, and you too and Channel 4 news.”
Why the ire, you may ask?
Well, James Lavigne has been indicted and accused of “gross misuse of public money,” Channel 4 reported. The indictment was also a large reason why he was unable to win reelection, and he blames a series of investigative reports over the infractions for his lousy 2014.
Lavigne was beaten in last year’s election by long-time colleague David McQueen, who opted not to read the farewell speech that his fallen opponent had left behind.
Instead, Alderman Virgil Phillips volunteered to read the five-page, single-spaced farewell entitled, “Summary of 26 Years of My Service to the Town of Pearl River.”
The New Orleans Advocate explained that while the speech dealt some with Lavigne’s accomplishments, the majority of it was a defense against the charges the 74-year-old is now facing. He made “pointed attacks” at critics, particularly Alderwoman Kathryn Walsh, accusing her of “making constant attacks, demanding public records, and ‘trying to impose her legislative will upon the executive branch of town government,'” the news site reported.
“I am not the best bookkeeper or paperwork man in the world, but I am certainly no thief. There is no indication in my personal lifestyle, my home, my investments or any other assets that I have stolen or misappropriated a dime from the Town of Pearl River. If anything, I have given, given, given to the town, and as they say, ‘No good deed goes unpunished.'”
The charges against him, he said, as well as his lost election, were due to a “small clique that want to run the town by computer as a major corporation” rather than “a small, friendly and personal town.”
Walsh, in attendance at the reading, was given the option to nix the rest of it, but instead allowed the full reading.
What do you think about the final comments of James Lavigne? Do you think he’s guilty or being railroaded out of his job? Sound off in the comments.