IBERIA PARISH, La. (KLFY)— Sheriff’s office employees in Iberia Parish say a poor economy could lead to as many as 25 layoffs by mid-September.
According to Sheriff Louis Ackal, layoffs have become necessary during these difficult economic times, and if things were his way, he’d start cutting from the top.
“I wanted to cut my salary but they told me it’s set by the legislature. Somehow or another, if I can get a dispensation from the legislature I’m going to go ahead and cut my salary.”
Until then or, if that time comes, 25 of the nearly 350 sheriff’s office employees will be laid off. According to Ackal, patrol officers and receptionist are safe from the layoffs.
“This is a very hurtful thing that is really taking its toll on me.” Said Ackal.
With a $400,000 decrease in tax revenue, layoffs are inevitable but in order to minimize the damage, the Sheriff is asking all those with enough years for full retirement, to take it.
“Those that have vested their retirement after being here over 12-years. I have one that’s been here over 33-years but, the sad part about it is he’s going to lose his insurance coverage.”
The Sheriff says auditors were trying to activate the layoffs by as early as September 1, 2016.
“I can’t just kick people out at a day or two’s notice and say okay, you don’t have a job.” Said Ackal
Even with the cuts, the Sheriff believes his department will still be able to adequately do their jobs.