John Settle-Opinion-May 2015It’s a question political observers are asking publicly—and many Caddo Commissioners privately. Matthew Linn has been president of the Caddo Commission for less than a month—and his lack of leadership skills becomes more and more apparent each week. Obviously he has planned for months if not years as how he behave as the instant “Commission King” once elected President,—and his actions reflect that mistaken mindset.

Linn started off the year by sending an email to Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator, signed Matthew Linn Caddo Commissioner, complaining of a Facebook post. Although a sheriff’s investigator deemed the post to NOT be a crime, the investigator subsequently confronted this individual. These actions could lead to civil liability to Linn on the basis of sexual discrimination, racial discrimination, interference with employment and abuse of office.head-Question-mark

Thereafter, wearing his President of Commission hat, Linn decided to replace Dr. Woodrow Wilson, the Parish Administrator, on the NLCOG board of directors. Linn did NOT consult or advise his fellow commissioners—only sending a fax letter to the NLCOG executive director firing Wilson and naming local attorney Robert Dunlap as the Commission’s NLCOG representative. Then, after consulting with Dunlap, Linn sent a second letter withdrawing Dunlap and naming himself as the Commission’s representative. Linn did NOT bother to consult with either of the Commission’s 2 staff attorneys—relying on Dunlap’s legal analysis to support his actions.

Linn’s next autocratic step was to place (at the last minute) on the Commission’s agenda a resolution to suspend Dr. Wilson for allegedly failing to live in Caddo Parish as required by a Commission ordinance. Linn reported that he had peaked into Wilson’s apartment and it did not appear to be lived in—only to be a model apartment for the complex. How “peeping tom Matthew” accomplished this is unknown—at the Commission meeting Wilson provided documentation that he lived in a gated secured apartment complex in a second floor apartment. Wilson also provided his apartment lease, utility bills for the Shreveport residence, a driver’s license with the Shreveport address and furnished apartment pictures.

Question Caddo Commissioner LinnTo say the presentation by Wilson was an embarrassment to the Commission as well as Caddo citizens is an understatement to say the least. All the other commissioners sincerely apologized to Wilson; Linn offered an unconvincing apology saying that Caddo citizens needed the residence issue resolved. Seemingly Linn did NOT consider any other reasonable options other than a public calling out of Wilson in public. It is doubtful that Linn would have followed the same tactics when he ran Columbia Café, – – accusing an employee of lying in front of all his employees and all his customers on a packed house evening.

Linn’s actions are unprecedented in modern history in any northwest Louisiana governing bodies and have certainly made Linn the laughing stock of elected officials in the local area. Linn’s short history of leadership as the Caddo Commission is indeed regrettable and one can only wonder what King Linn will need do wearing his Commission President hat. How much longer the Caddo citizens—much less the Commissioners themselves—should be subject to this horror show is a question that many are asking privately.