Parish Attorney Mary Roper faces the music on Wednesday when she will finally go up against the Metro Council in a hearing to contest her termination.
When the hearing was initially slated for May, Roper had a few allies on the council. But in the past few months — after rejecting a deal for a new city-parish job, making public record requests for Metro Council members’ emails, texts and Facebook messages, suing the council, and attempting to fire her first assistant for “disloyalty” — Roper has certainly lost some votes.
Roper lost her lawsuit asking for a judge to intervene and stop the hearing.
On Tuesday, Councilwoman Chauna Banks-Daniel, who has a penchant for dramatic emails, fired off a message to the council backing Roper, saying she is unwilling to “alter the course of Mary Roper’s life undeserving,” citing both her faith and her feminism.
“Tomorrow, I am being charged with making a decision regarding a woman’s future,” she wrote. “This is something I do not take lightly. This is something I am in constant prayer about. So far, all I get deep down in my spirit man is this command, “Do Mary Roper no harm.”
Here’s the text from her email:
I feel totally un-informed, dis-connected, and ill-prepared to go forth with the hearing to determine Mary Roper’s future as Parish Attorney. Though, I am not an attorney I have hired a few over time. I can only reflect on the meetings and communications that occurred with my attorneys and nothing in this case has been even remotely similar.
Tomorrow, I am being charged with making a decision regarding a woman’s future. This is something I do not take lightly. This is something I am in constant prayer about. So far, all I get deep down in my spirit man is this command, “Do Mary Roper no harm.”
Much of my thinking goes back to the many the young girls I have told that they can grow up to be “whatever” they want to be. Encouraged them that there is No Limit to what they can achieve. Now I am faced with inserting to girls that one day they may learn their success only cracked the glass ceiling, not shattered it. Then I think about my own adult son, who hasn’t completely found his way and my constant hope for him to have a fair chance to reach his potential in a career and/or business venture. Lastly, my thoughts turn to the almost 40 years I have been in the workforce and occasionally faced mistreatment, unfair practices, and a hostile work. I know what that feels like and I cannot in good conscience do that to another human being.
I cannot take Mary Roper’s livelihood and retirement without overwhelming evidence that she is not in this predicament due to wrong motives, selfish desires, and hearing procedures in place that are fair and impartial.
There are some things I still want God to bless me and my family with. As for me, I WILL NOT jeopardize every dream, every vision, every promotion, every healing from coming forth in my life because on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 2:00 p.m., I altered the course of Mary Roper’s life undeserving.
Please answer the following questions that I should have not had to ask at this late date:
- 1. Does the MC require a lawyer at Mary Roper’s hearing on tomorrow? If so, who will be the lawyer?
- 2. What is the potential conflict of the MC to have a lawyer (which I assume is representing the wishes of the council), then the MC having a vote?
- 3. Has the MC attorney had briefings with all 12 of the MC members? Specify yes or no for each member.
- 5. Has the MC attorney required PA staff to provide any information to assist in any aspect of Mary Roper’s legal proceedings? If so, please list those staff members.
- 6. Is the MC being placed in a position to vote against its own attorney?
- 7. What will the MC lawyer’s participation be in Mary Roper’s hearing?
- 8. Should the MC be briefed prior on Mary Roper’s hearing? If so, by whom?
- 9. What are the potential roles MC members may face on tomorrow? I have no idea what the allegations are against Mary Roper.
10. What are the rules and procedures for tomorrow’s hearing? Will Mary Roper be allowed to resent evidence and arguments used in making a final decision?
11. Will the MC members be allowed to present evidence and arguments used in making a final decision?
12. Will witnesses be allowed to be called by Mary Roper at tomorrow’s hearing?
13. Will the MC members be allowed to be called witnesses at tomorrow’s hearing?
14. Is Mary Roper allowed to speak on her own behalf at tomorrow’s hearing?
15. Are the MC members allowed to speak as part of tomorrow’s hearing?
16. What is the potential for MC to be witnesses at tomorrow’s hearing?
17. What is the potential for PA Staff to be witnesses at tomorrow’s hearing?
18. Has the MC given any potential witnesses advance notice of their potential to be called as a witness in tomorrow’s hearing? If so, by whom? What method? Who are these witnesses? How where they selected or what will their testimony produce?
19. Where all MC members consulted regarding potential witnesses, evidence, etc.?
20. Should the MC members have received a copy of the court documents (judgments, etc.) on prior court proceedings? May the MC members get this information?
21. How should I handle myself in court and questioning witnesses?
22. Is there a time length placed on Mary Roper’s hearing?
23. Is there a time length for any participant’s to speak (witnesses, council member, etc.) at Mary Roper’s hearing?
24. What options are afforded a MC member who may not feel adequately represented, briefed, or informed on procedures for tomorrow’s hearing?
25. What is the potential harm to Mary Roper if the MC removes her as Parish Attorney, besides losing her position? How will this affect her ability to regain city-parish employment? How much of her retirement is at stake? Please provide exact figures.”
Roper’s hearing starts at 2 p.m. in City Hall.