Employees' decade-old battle with levee district continues in Orleans Parish

By Alejandro de los Rios | Sep 14, 2010

A wrongful termination suit against the Orleans Levee District (OLD) from 1997 is still under litigation in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

Orleans residents Ulysses Williams and Theodore Lange are suing the Orleans Levee District and former president, Jim Huey, after they were allegedly fired without due cause in 1996.

The thirteen-year-old suit claims that Huey "threatened" Lange's employment if he did not fire Williams and that Lange's employment "would be in jeopardy if he did not sign an order to proceed with work on a $22 million overpass project."

New Orleans attorney Patrick Klotz filed the original petition for damages. The suit also claims the defendants are liable for defamation after they released a "draft report of the Inspector General by OLD Commissioners to the local media...before said report had been responded to or voted on by the Board."

New Orleans attorney Frank Milanese and James Nugent are representing the defense. The case was removed to the U.S. Eastern District of Louisiana in April 1997, but it was remanded back to state court in February 1998.

Orleans Parish Chief Justice Lloyd Medley was originally overseeing this case, but the defense was granted a motion for recusal in 1999 on account that Medley had performed legal services for Lange and the OLD.

Judge Herbert Cade is currently overseeing this case. A hearing for two defense motions had been set for Friday but was reset.

Defense had moved for summary judgment and an exception for no cause of action to try and dismiss the suit.

Orleans Parish Case 1997-04950

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