- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

SORRENTO, La. (AP) - The Sorrento Town Council has delayed on decision on whether to ask Gov. Bobby Jindal to refrain from appointing an interim police chief and instead leave the matter to the voters Nov. 4.

That’s when there will be a special election to fill the remaining three years of former Police Chief Earl Theriot Jr.’s term.

“I think an interim at this point, an interim chief of police, would be ineffective because he will not be able to implement any long-term policies or anything,” said Mayor Mike Lambert, who proposed the resolution. “I just feel that we just ask the governor to wait and let the people decide on Nov. 4 who will be the next chief of police.”

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1nnOklz ) Councilman Randy Anny asked the town council Tuesday to defer discussion on the proposed resolution until the May 20 council meeting.

The town has been without a police chief since February, when Theriot resigned in the wake of federal charges levied against him. That same month, Theriot pleaded guilty to lying to an FBI agent about inappropriate sexual contact with an intoxicated woman.

Lambert also said not having a police chief is saving Sorrento money because the town does not have to pay a salary for the position.

The town, meanwhile, has contracted with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office for protection on nights and weekends for a fee of $36 per hour. Smith patrols during weekdays.

Jindal has had since Feb. 27 to appoint an interim police chief but has not done so yet.

The Governor’s Office, once reticent to release much information about who state officials are considering to fill Theriot’s term, broke its silence Tuesday.

“We defer to the will of the local community on this issue,” said Shannon Bates, a spokesman with the Governor’s Office.

Sorrento residents have another choice on the Nov. 4 ballot, as well: A decision to abolish the town’s Police Department and eliminate the police chief’s position.


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

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