BROUSSARD, La. — The Broussard City Council and Mayor Ray Bourque held an executive meeting Tuesday regarding the city's investigation into allegations of workplace sexual harassment against Police Chief Branon Decou.
According to a release from the council, city leaders received a verbal briefing from the attorneys leading the investigation regarding the allegations against Decou.
Decou announced his retirement Monday in a letter to the secretary of state, which becomes effective on June 1.
In the public portion of the meeting held on May 11, the council voted unanimously to immediately terminate Assistant Police Chief Chris Galvez for failure to pursue employee complaints and causing a lack of confidence within the police department.
The attorneys conducting the investigation for the city provided a written summary to city leaders stating that some of Decou's activities were "in violation of the city's harassment policy, improper and not appropriate for a leader of the police department."
The summary also stated that certain complaints concerning harassment were not pursued to the conclusion by the police department leadership.
And while attorneys did not find that any of the individual allegations against department leadership were illegal, many violated the city's policy on sexual harassment and constituted unprofessional behavior and misconduct.
The mayor, a three-person council committee, plus five additional community members with law enforcement experience will work together to interview and determine recommendations for an interim chief, the release states. The final appointment will be made by the mayor and the entire city council.
Additional sexual harassment policy training has been mandated by the mayor, the release adds.
Bourque also issued a statement on the investigation:
We will remain committed to doing the right thing. We have trusted our legal counsel to help us determine the best course of action. Through this process, it has been the city’s mission to remain professional and keep our focus on protecting our city, our citizens, and our employees. Now that this investigation is completed, it is time for our city leadership to focus on taking the next step, which is selecting our interim police chief who will serve until the residents of Broussard can cast their vote.
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