- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

PLAQUEMINE, La. (AP) - The Board of Selectman has appointed Kenny Payne to serve as the interim police chief following the recent death of Orian Gulotta.

The board made the unanimous decision at a meeting on Tuesday. Payne has been with the Plaquemine Police Department since 1995 and had served as Gulotta’s second in command since 2002.

Payne will lead the police department until October when the city will hold a special election to fill the police chief position for the remainder of the term, which expires in 2016.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1F5ICBi) Payne said he intends to run for the position during the election.

“My great friend and mentor has been preparing me for this,” Payne said, referring to Gulotta. “His philosophy of protecting and serving will continue to be my main concern.”

Gulotta, who had been police chief since 2001, died April 25 due to complications from a six-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

During the board meeting, Gulotta’s younger brother, Plaquemine Mayor Mark “Tony” Gulotta, thanked the city officials for honoring his brother’s life during his funeral.

“This is hard for me to do,” the mayor said. “My brother and I talked a lot, and we knew one thing: Plaquemine is bigger than us.”

The mayor said his brother had worked in law enforcement for approximately 40 years and did not have plans to seek re-election before his cancer diagnosis.

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


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