Breaking News Alert (Henrietta Wildsmith/The Times)
A disgruntled former city employee wearing a shirt with a mayoral candidate’s name told Shreveport sanitation workers to call in sick to disrupt trash pickup, perhaps to hurt Mayor Ollie Tyler’s chances in the coming runoff election, the mayor said Wednesday.
Tyler said the former employee was wearing a campaign shirt for Adrian Perkins, the mayor’s opponent in Saturday’s election, and told sanitation workers that he soon would be their boss when instructing them not to appear for work on Monday and Tuesday — apparently suggesting that Perkins had tapped him to become city public works director.
The same former employee also tried to tell city streets and drainage employees something similar but was stopped, said Brian Crawford, the city’s chief administrative officer. Sanitation and streets and drainage employees all work in the city Public Works Department.
Tyler said the former employee’s action appeared planned to affect the outcome of Saturday’s election, although she said she couldn’t be certain. She did not claim that Perkins was involved.
“That was the account that I was told,” Tyler said in an interview. “It’s unfortunate if it was politically motivated.”
Perkins denied any involvement, calling the alleged events “crazy.”
“I wouldn’t have authorized this at all,” Perkins said. “I don’t know anybody by that description. We would never have authorized that, and I have not assigned any jobs whatsoever. I don’t know anything about that whatsoever. … We’ve given, like, thousands of shirts out at this point.”
Tyler and other city…