Shreveport City Councilman John Nickelson has fired back at Mayor Adrian Perkins, after he (Nickelson) was removed from the Council's Audit & Finance Committee Chairmanship, just hours after requesting an independent audit of the city's Finance department.

What Mayor Perkins Said

The Mayor, after saying he welcomed any review of the city's finances - including his own travel expenses - said, "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.”

Councilman Nickelson Clarifies the His Committee Removal

In an email Friday, the Councilman responded to Perkins comments and the circumstances surrounding his removal from the committee:

"No one indicated to me that I would be removed from the Audit and Finance Committee before I sent my letter to the Legislative Auditor. I knew that Mr. (Council Chairman James) Green might punish me for refusing to support his chairmanship of the Council, but I was surprised to be ejected from the committee. When I sent my letter to the Legislative Auditor yesterday - half an hour before Mr. Green's committee assignments were communicated to the Council - I was the chairman of the Audit and Finance Committee."

And Answers the Mayor's Charges, Past and Present

Nickelson then went on to review his previous disagreements with Perkins and the Mayor's repeated accusations of racism against him:

"When I challenged Mayor Perkins on the insurance debacle, he accused me of being racist. When I sponsored legislation to study the city's charter and to consider having a professional, apolitical administrator for the city, the mayor again accused me of being racist. When I urged that we implement an objective process for selecting the professionals who handle bond transactions for the city worth hundreds of millions of dollars - same accusation from the mayor and his proxies: racist. And when I sent a letter to the Legislative Auditor requesting an investigative audit in response to extremely serious allegations by the city's former controller - without commenting on the merits of those allegations or disparaging the mayor in any way - he questioned my "motives and character."

The District C representative ended his email by saying he hopes Perkins will work on making the city better, rather that "insulting" him every time they disagree. "I'm just incredibly tired of the division and ugliness," Nickelson says, "Our city deserves better."

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