- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

SORRENTO, La. (AP) - The Sorrento Town Council has asked Governor Bobby Jindal not to appoint an interim police chief to fill the vacancy left when Earl Theriot resigned in February.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1gkvBHP ) council members Patti Poche, Marvin Martin and Donald Schexnaydre voted for the measure during a meeting Tuesday on the measure. Councilman Randy Anny cast the dissenting vote and Councilwoman Wanda Bourgeois was absent.

The Governor’s Office has said the administration would defer to the will of the local community on the issue.

Theriot resigned as police chief after pleading guilty to lying to an FBI agent about inappropriate sexual conduct with an intoxicated woman the chief had picked up after a 911 call. Since Theriot’s resignation, the town has been without a police chief.

Anny questioned the necessity of the resolution.

“Why should I have to vote to send a letter to the governor, when the governor doesn’t have to appoint an interim police chief?” he asked.

“What if he does?” Martin countered.

Mayor Mike Lambert argued that filling the position temporarily would be a waste of money.

“An interim police chief would be ineffective to start any long-term programs,” he said.

The resolution approved by the council lists reasons for requesting that Jindal refrain from appointing an interim police chief, including that the city does not have a liability insurance policy covering the Police Department and the Police Department consists of only one officer, Smith.

The town has called for a special election Nov. 4 to allow voters to either elect a new police chief or dissolve the Police Department, eliminating the position of police chief.

If voters approve, the office would be eliminated at the end of Theriot’s term in 2017.

The town contracts with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office for police protection on nights and weekends for $36 per hour with Smith patrolling during weekday hours. The agreement is set to continue until the election.


Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com

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