While a legal appeal is underway, the opposition elected to the town hall of Toulouse and the Metropolis, Odile Maurin, denounces the refusal of Jean-Luc Moudenc to provide her with the means she needs to participate to the political debate. Polydisabled, she accuses him of “thus pushing her to resign”.
Between the pungent replies exchanged during the municipal and metropolitan councils, and the flowery proposals launched by the interposed media, relations between the elected opposition member (Alternative municipaliste and for a citizen metropolis, AMC) Odile Maurin and the majority, are tense . Always respectful, but tense. In question, among other things, the requests of the elected representative for means of compensation for her handicaps. In effect, achievement of a Asperger’s autism and a Ehlers-Danlos syndromeshe uses a wheelchair and suffers from numerous symptoms such as “attentional and organizational difficulties, psychomotor slowness, pain throughout the body, weak immune defence, hearing impairment and diction problems”, her doctors.
A legal remedy to assert your rights
Symptoms that prevent him from participating in political debates without outside help. “Ms. Maurin needs assistance to fulfill her mandate on an equal footing with her able-bodied colleagues. Refusing to do figuration, ”explains master David Nabet-Martin, son lawyer. He represents it in its legal fight against the City and the Metropolis, denouncing “the repeated refusal to provide the material means necessary for his participation in political life, at the risk of his health and in violation of democratic fairness”. In effect, Odile Maurin seized the administrative court in June 2021to contest the opposition of local authorities “to the reimbursement of specific costs” induced by his multiple disabilities.
“Ms. Maurin needs assistance to fulfill her mandate on an equal footing with her able-bodied colleagues“
Master David Nabet-Martin
In particular, it requires human help ; “to help me at the same time by allowing me to dictate all kinds of writings to him, which would help me to prepare the files of the municipal council and the various commissions by noting my remarks instantaneously, which would accompany me on the occasion of city council meetings to ensure that I take notes but also to raise my hand for requests to speak, and to accompany me to the toilets since I cannot open the doors myself”. And the provision of a computer adapted to their needs.
The services of the Town Hall estimated, for their part, to have made every effort to respond favorably to the requests of the elected official, “within the limits of what the texts allow”. Regarding the computer, the applicant acknowledges that this possibility has been proven to him but that it could only be used for professional purposes. For safety reasons. “Which forced her to carry two devices despite her mobility difficulties”, completes Me Nabet-Martin in the judicial request.
As for the expenses for which the elected representative requests support from the Town Hall, the community endorses with Odile Maurin, in a letter dated July 9, 2020, that it “will reimburse the costs correspondents within the limit of the ceiling set by lawand [que] this reimbursement may cover the costs of assistance and accompaniment for participation in meetings of the bodies and for the travel necessary to attend these bodies. On the other hand, it does not seem that it can cover the preparation of files”.
“Toulouse Métropole therefore reimburses Madame Maurin’s expenses only in the case provided for by law.“
In Toulouse Métropole, the answer is the same “Reimbursements of these same costs are also possible within the limit of an identical ceiling, but they only apply in the event that the meetings concerned take place in a municipality other than that from which the elected representative comes, this confirmed, by letter, by the prefect questioned on the question. Toulouse Métropole therefore reimburses Madame Maurin’s expenses only in the case provided for by law..”
A legal and political battle
But, if the municipal councilor obtained certain compensations, she considers them defective, and accuses the Town Hall and the Metropolis of a restrictive interpretation of the texts, which obliges him to take charge of the adjustments necessary for the exercise of his mandate. According to Odile Maurin, the mayor of Toulouse, “Jean-Luc Moudenc, would use her disabilities to try to strangle her financially and ultimately push her to resign“: “She is forced to take responsibility for these monthly expenses with her elected allowance paid at 80% of these costs to exercise her mandate as local elected representative despite her low income”, specifies her lawyer. An argument to which the agglomeration community opposes that “the community may in no case incur expenditure of public money outside the regulatory framework“.
“Constraint to take responsibility for these monthly expenses with his elected allowance”
Master David Nabet-Martin
For the Town Hall of Toulouse and Toulouse metropolis, “which sticks to the law”, Odile Maurin is the wrong interlocutor. The texts do not provide for the assumption of certain obligations inherent in the municipal and/or metropolitan mandate, it would therefore be against the favored that it should turn. But the legal procedure in progress, intended by the elected, screw the City and the Metropolis. The administrative court of Toulouse should rule in the coming months.