New financial consultant for Jackson left former post under cloud

Metro
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The City of Jackson has tapped a consultant to help them address fiscal issues facing the municipality.

According to administrators with the City of New Orleans, Michelle Thomas worked as Deputy Mayor of the city under   former Mayor Mitch Landrieu.  In 2013, she abruptly resigned from office after a story from WJTV’s sister station WWL raised questions connected to her then- fiance’s background and personal life. 

She was introduced at a city briefing in Jackson Monday. Her last official position was as the Executive Director of Louisiana Housing Corporation.

Thomas is known as the person responsible for steering Newark, New Jersey through the budget process during an economic crisis. She is also credited with helping the city cut its’ deficit by more than half.

She would fulfill some of the duties performed by Dr. Charles Hatcher, the City’s former Director of Administration. Hatcher was in charge of crafting the City’s budget and is credited with helping leaders figure out a way to structure the City’s sizeable debt. Hatcher resigned at the end of May citing personal reasons.

WJTV reached out to the City for comment. They issued the following response.

“Ms. Thomas is a more than capable individual with a history of stellar work performance, and has extensive professional experience in municipal financial administration.  Ms. Thomas has demonstrated her expertise in financial operations in several municipalities across the nation.  Her outstanding record as a competent and knowledgeable professional speaks volumes and this is why she was chosen.  Her personal life is just that, personal.”

City of Jackson officials

The City would not disclose Thomas’ compensation package. The contract will come before the council for approval next week.

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