The People's Tribune

Former City Administrator Bob Jenne Wins Damages In Suit Against Louisiana

It took just shy of three and a half years to go to trial, but it appears that closure is on the horizon in the case of Robert Jenne and the City of Louisiana.

Jenne had served as the city’s administrator up until February of 2015 when the city council at that time decided to relieve him of duties. He had also served as interim chief of police following the tragic death of Rich Hughes.

Jenne filed charges against the city including claims of age discrimination, retaliation and unlawful discharge. Named in filings were then-mayor Bart Niedner and council members Chuck Hoffman, Kathy Smith, Mona Brown, Jeff Guay and Lori Lewis.

A four-day jury trial wrapped up last week on Friday, Oct. 26. A post-trial motion has been filed by Jenne’s attorney seeking attorney fees and court costs.

Jenne won compensatory damages of $188,000 on the count of retaliation. No punitive damages were assessed and no other wrong-doing was found.

The case has been continued to Nov. 16 for post-trial motions and entry of final judgment. It is anticipated the case will be closed in early December.

The parties involved noted they have been advised against speaking at length about the matter until it is officially closed.

Bart Niedner noted that he has been so advised, but wishes to discuss the case in full following its conclusion.

Niedner did offer a public statement on Monday.

“Just before closing arguments on Oct. 26, 2018, and after years of asserting claims against the city councilpersons, Mr. Jenne dismissed his charges against all five city councilpersons. It is my prayer that the painful experience does not erode their continued public service or dissuade others from volunteering,” Niedner remarked.

“We are pleased that the jury found in our favor on the charge of age discrimination. I am very relieved to be completely exonerated from this accusation. It has been a very painful burden for my family and me these past three years,” he stated. “Unfortunately, the jury found in favor of Mr. Jenne on the secondary count of retaliation. I remain wholly in objection to this finding; however, because this second count is the subject of post-trial motions, I will have to delay my comments on advice of my counsel,” he added.

The People’s Tribune will include a comprehensive report following the conclusion of final judgment.

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