Crowley's Police Chief is asking for action on several unpaid bills.
Chief Jimmy Broussard says the department's Cox bills - which pay for internet - and Verizon bills haven't been paid in months. He says his department can't get auto parts and supplies for police units because the city's credit card is "frozen."
The chief also tells KATC that he hasn't received a budget report since the fiscal year started - in September. Budget reports help department heads keep track of funds going in and out of accounts, and Broussard said he usually gets them monthly. A couple hours after we spoke with him, and after we'd asked the city attorney for a comment, Broussard let us know that he received his September budget report.
Last week, Broussard sent a letter to the city attorney about the bills, and copied the council members on it. Broussard tells KATC that he was told that his officers must use two gas station chains only for fuel, even though other stations are on the approved list. But he's not clear on what the fuel charges have to do with the other bills.
We've reached out to the city attorney for his response.
Here's the letter the chief sent:
I am writing this with the utmost respect to you as our long time City Attorney.
I have listened and will abide by the fuel policy. However, I have listened to you and the Mayor chasten me about the City Inspector and I have listened to your letter about me. I have taken and taken and taken. And now I’m going to raise a number of questions which I have brought before Council members and May go even further.
We presented a bill on Friday to City Hall for the Cox bill for our department. This bill was in the amount of $6600. FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS of this was late fees because it hasn’t been paid in at least three months. The credit card for the City account is frozen because the last payment was in September! The Verizon bill is over $1200 because it hasn’t been paid yet. Public Works went to purchase order a battery for one of our units at Advanced Auto Parts and they had to go to AutoZone because we were on credit hold with Advanced. We will probably once again be placed on credit hold at Guidry’s uniforms because we are at least two to three months in arrears.
I understand about wanting to save pennies to equal dollars; however, the $500 late fees will, no doubt, come out of my budget and I had nothing to do with the non payment of the bill. In addition, when Cox does shut us off, we will have no access to phone or internet to respond to emergencies in our city. In addition when Verizon cuts us off we will have nothing because cell phones for detectives and administration will be gone.
So when does it stop? I know they will have a plethora of reasons for this; however, WE (meaning those not in Administration) must bear the “brunt” of it and then face the ire of the Mayor, City Attorney and Administration because we are not saving our pennies and are not performing to the liking of the aforementioned.
I am respectfully requesting that you, as CITY attorney look into this. I will await an answer from you sometime this week.