KENNER, La. (WGNO) — On Friday, March 4, the Kenner City Council had a special session on its calendar that was scheduled to begin 11 a.m.
The council planned to discuss audit reports concerning former city employee Chad Pitfield, who is under investigation by the FBI.
But between the time period when they called the session and when it was time to begin, most of the councilmembers decided they would not show up. Only one did, which meant that there weren’t enough people for a quorum, and no special session was held.
The session was supposed to be at the Macy’s building at the Esplanade Mall, a portion of the mall that was once used for retail business that the city now uses for much of its business.
Mayor Ben Zahn and the city’s CFO and CAO also attended the meeting along with multiple people from the general public who wished to speak.
Even though the special session didn’t happen, city leaders in attendance opted to allow the public to address them regarding virtually any issue the wished.
No new date for special session was announced.
Below is some of the events and information leading up to the initial decision to call this morning’s special session.
Detectives say the investigation involves the possibility that Pitfield is ‘double dipping’ and took advantage of the system to get paid way more than he should.
Supposedly, Pitfield received around $86,000 in addition to his salary. The money is believed to have come from working past his office hours to re-establish services needed following Hurricane Ida.
Some members of the community also brought up that Pitfield also works as a reserve deputy for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, which could be a red flag for detectives if he was marking on his time sheet that he was working both jobs at the same time.
The session follows a subpoena issued by the FBI for Pitfield’s records with the City of Kenner in February. It included a request for his payroll records, timesheets, emergency pay, and expenses.
Pitfield was placed on leave by the city on February 15.
City PIO Bob Ross issued the following statement regarding the investigation:
On Thursday, February 10, 2022 a committee was formed to investigate allegations of Chad Pitfield working at the City of Kenner while also working for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. The City had no prior notice of these allegations as the City does not have access to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office records.
On Friday, February 11, 2022 the FBI served a subpoena for Mr. Pitfield’s records in the possession of the City of Kenner. That subpoena has been produced to media outlets pursuant to public records requests. On information and belief, a similar subpoena for Mr. Pitfield’s records was served upon the Sheriff’s office.
On February 15, 2022 Mr. Pitfield was placed on leave without pay pending the City’s investigation.