SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Shreveport’s mayor says he welcomes a legislative audit of the city’s finances but says the city councilor who claims he was stripped of his Audit and Finance Committee chairmanship shortly after requesting it is misrepresenting himself.

Dist. C council member John Nickelson claimed Thursday that he was stripped of his chairmanship by City Council Chair James Green 33 minutes after sending a letter to Louisiana Legislative Auditor Michael Waguespack requesting the audit in the wake of allegations of problems with the city’s accounting department leveled by the city’s recently fired Controller.

“The City of Shreveport undergoes an internal and external audit annually,” Mayor Adrian Perkins said in a statement Friday. “If the State has the resources to conduct an additional audit, we welcome it. I’m always looking at ways for our Finance Department to be stronger. However, I’m alarmed that Councilman Nickelson is misrepresenting himself as the Chairman of the Shreveport City Council Audit and Finance Committee. It raises questions about his motives and character.”

Nickelson said Thursday that he has served as chair of the committee for three years, but Perkins says Nickelson was no longer chair of the committee once Green was elected Chairman of the Council during the January 11 City Council meeting more than two weeks ago.

A spokesperson for the mayor’s office says that’s based on what is outlined in the Code of Ordinances for special committee appointments and according to the City Charter, which says the Chair of the Council names the members who serve on each committee and designates who will serve as chair.

Section 7. – Special committees.
7.1 Appointment of special committees. The council, may, from time to time, authorize the appointment of special committees upon motion adopted at a council meeting. The motion establishing a committee shall state the purpose for which the committee is formed and the term during which the committee shall remain in existence. The purpose for the committee may be amended and supplemented and its term of existence may be changed by majority vote of the council.

7.2 Members of special committees. The chair of the council shall name the members to serve on each special committee and shall designate one member to serve as committee chair.

Shreveport Code of Ordinances / (Res. No. 61, 2015, 4-14-15; Res. No. 29, 2019 , § 2, 3-12-19)

The audit and finance committee is made up of four city council members appointed by the chairman of the council in January each year. Members typically serve for about a year, at the pleasure of the city council.

While members of the committee and its chair can be selected to continue after one year, that decision is up to the City Council Chair.

Nickelson has not responded to requests for comment.