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|Riley resigns from community affairs post|
Johnny Riley, Monroe's community affairs director, announced his resignation, effective Nov. 15. He said he was leaving his job with the city to pursue another job opportunity.
Mayor Jamie Mayo announced Riley's resignation late last week.
Monroe Parks and Recreation director John Ross will assume the responsibilities of interim community affairs director for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends April 30, 2009.
A permanent community affairs director is expected to be named by summer 2009.
"Johnny has made a tremendous difference in our efforts to move Monroe forward," Mayo said. "He has served the city tremendously in two different capacities."
"During his tenure as executive administrative officer, he helped formulate our successful departmental business plan template," Mayo added. "This model helped us achieve a record surplus."
While serving as community affairs director, Mayo said Riley and his team attracted a number of events to the Monroe Civic Center. He also oversaw major renovations at Masur Museum of Art, constructed new exhibits at the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo, and made improvements at Chennault Golf Course, community centers and parks.
In January 2003, Riley was hired by Mayo as executive administrative officer. In May 2005, he was promoted to director of community affairs. The community affairs department consists of the Monroe Civic Center, Masur Museum of Art, Parks and Recreation, Chennault Golf Course and the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo.
"I want to personally thank Mayor Mayo for the opportunity to serve on his leadership team," Riley said. "I have enjoyed working with the staff members of each division and will miss our dedicated city of Monroe employees."
"I thank the residents of northeast Louisiana for allowing me to serve you," Riley added.
Riley's department recently was the subject of a joint-investigation by The Ouachita Citizen and KNOE-8 News.
That investigation brought to light an issue involving overtime pay within the community affairs department.
Three employees with the city's community affairs department had requested more than $7,000 for hours they claimed they worked during the planning and execution of DeltaFest.
Those three employees were salaried workers and were not eligible to receive overtime pay. City policy dictates that salaried employees receive 1.5 hours off with pay for each hour they work overtime.
A new city policy was recently proposed to curtail overtime compensation, meaning some employees may not be paid for the time they spend working on special events for the city.
As director of community affairs, Riley approved for the employees to work overtime. An internal audit revealed Riley's approval of the overtime was not in accordance with the existing city policy.
The internal audit conducted by the city of Monroe also found employees in the community affairs division were not using approved forms for their request. Also, some of the compensatory time requests had not been authorized by appropriate supervisors.