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Erath Police Chief candidate says his arrest is politically motivated

Posted at 12:18 PM, Sep 02, 2022

Turkey Creek's former assistant police chief, who currently is a candidate for Erath Police Chief, was arrested last night in Rapides Parish.

Christopher Lemaire was booked on a warrant with 10 counts malfeasance in office and one count possession of schedule II drugs. The Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office obtained the warrant, Rapides Parish records show.

Lemaire tells KATC that he's not guilty and he's going to fight these charges; he also says he plans to continue his campaign for Erath Police Chief. We'll have more from him tonight on KATC TV3.

A release from the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Office says the charges are "in reference to possible criminal activity involving traffic stops and narcotics investigations."

The sheriff's release alleges that, between February 2022 and July 2022, Lemaire "made multiple traffic stops where malfeasance activity was present." The release also alleges that Lemaire conducted narcotics investigation outside of his jurisdiction.

A release from the Turkey Creek Police Department states that Chief Steven Ardoin got several complaints about Lemaire in June 2022. The complaints were about Lemaire's actions during traffic stops. The chief reviewed body camera footage from all these stops, the release states.

During the review, other behaviors were observed that did not meet Turkey Creek Police Department standards. On July 11, 2022, Christopher Lemaire was asked to resign due to lack of trust in his abilities to uphold the laws we are sworn to enforce, the release states.

The Turkey Creek Police Department received Lemaire's official resignation on July 12, 2022. It had become apparent these actions should be investigated by an outside agency, the release states.

At this time, the police department is working closely with Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office as they investigate this further, the release states.

"Chief Steven Ardoin would like to remind, not only the public, but also other officers, as peace officers we are not above the law and we will be held accountable for our actions," the release states. "All persons are innocent until proven guilty."

On his Facebook page this morning, Lemaire disputed the validity of the charges against him. The post has since been removed, but there's a screen shot of it below. Lemaire says he removed this post because he thought he had to withdraw from the chief's race in Erath; but after talking to several authorities he's learned he does not have to and he plans to continue his campaign.

Lemaire also said he's meeting with legal counsel tomorrow, and will seek advice on his continued campaign from his attorney as well.

This is a developing story, and we'll have more information later today.