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Loreauville fire chief resigns following altercation with mayor

Loreauville Community Project
Posted at 5:30 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 19:05:27-05

LOREAUVILLE — The chief of the Loreauville Volunteer Fire Department is alleging he was forced to resign from his post after a verbal altercation between him and the mayor.

Former fire chief Brody Champagne also worked full-time for the village as a maintenance worker.

Champagne tells KATC he received a phone call from Mayor Brad Clifton Jan. 23 about work being done in the village.

Champagne says he quit after the two got into a heated argument during that phone call.

According to Mayor Clifton, they had a conversation over the phone about the work that needed to be done, and then he received a text message from Champagne that he was quitting.

Clifton then called Champagne, which is when the former chief "laid into" the mayor, Clifton said.

Champagne says he was served a letter Tuesday that was addressed to him by the mayor, banning him from village-owned properties.

The letter reads:

Considering your resignation as a Village of Loreauville employee, and as a result of your behavior towards the Mayor, I have decided in the interest of avoiding any further conflict that you will not be allowed on and in village owned public properties, facilities and buildings without prior consent from the Mayor.

Champagne also alleges Clifton said in a meeting to which Champagne wasn't present that if he didn't resign as fire chief, Clifton would cut off the department's funding or close it.

The mayor denies those claims, telling KATC he doesn't have the power to do so.

Clifton called a special meeting for Thursday evening to discuss "the Loreauville Volunteer Fire Department issues and the fire chief position."

Champagne ultimately resigned, and the meeting was postponed.

Champagne worked for the volunteer fire department for 18 years.

According to Clifton, Assistant Fire Chief Damien Hebert will take over as interim chief.