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Jeanerette to continue operating as they have been, in contrast - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Jeanerette to continue operating as they have been, in contrast to AG's opinion

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More questions in Jeanerette over the future of the police department. The former chief was fired by the Board of Alderman on August 7th and since then there have been questions about whether the authority to hire and fire a police chief belongs to Mayor April Foulcard or to the Board of Aldermen.

In the attorney general's opinion, Mayor Foulcard did have the authority, based on how the city is supposed to be governed under the Lawrason Act.

The council voted to continue operating as they have been--under a special charter, in contrast to the attorney general's opinion. The city attorney proposed to further research the issue to make sure that they are in compliance because much of their tax dollars benefit the city under the special charter, which is how the city has been operating.

So what does this mean for the police department?

Interim Chief Fernest "Pacman" Martin, who is also the city marshal, will continue to do both jobs but work part-time as chief, in accordance with the attorney general's opinion. 

"Pay was never an issue for me it was about serving the people and the voters that voted me into office," said Martin. "You know you just take on a this department which is a small department along with my small department and you go out and do what you do which is protect the people of Jeanerette."

Martin is not the only interim position-- there are several other city employees that are interim and permanent fixes cannot be put into place until the city knows how they should be governed. 

KATC reached out to the city attorney and the mayor who declined an interview. 

To read the AG's opinion click here.

This is not the first time the city has asked for an AG opinion regarding Martin taking over the chief's duties; back in 2015, a similar question was asked. To read our story on that issue, click here

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