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State Fire Marshal's Office unable to locate complaint about mask compliance at LCG

Posted at 7:49 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 21:21:10-04

A Lafayette woman says she's fed up with local officials not following the Governor's mask mandate.

During the Lafayette City and Parish Council meetings Tuesday, she called the State Fire Marshal's Office to alert them to the Mayor-President, his chief administrative officer and others not wearing a mask.

The Governor's mask mandate says every Louisianian shall wear a face covering when inside a commercial establishment or any other building or space open the public.

However, there are exceptions.

If you are able to stay six feet apart from anyone else or if you're giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience to name a few.

On Tuesday, Mayor-President Josh Guillory and his CAO wore a mask as they took their seat for the Parish Council meeting.

During the chairman's open, they took them off and kept them off the majority of the Parish Council meeting. When both councils were in the auditorium, all were masked and typically only took them off to address the crowd.

A KATC viewer who reached out and wishes to remain anonymous said, "While I'm seeing this, I'm thinking we've got a clear cut divide of who sees the importance of wearing a mask and who doesn't."

She says at 7:49 Tuesday night, she called the State Fire Marshal's Office to report what she calls mask violations.

"The State Fire Marshal when I spoke with them, it was their emergency dispatch team. They seemed very concerned, they took the name of the business, found the location and they were appalled that this was happening in a government building and being streamed on television," our viewer said.

When she followed up on Thursday, the Fire Marshal's Office had no record of her complaint.

She said, "Then, I reached out to the public information officer for the State Fire Marshal and they further informed me that since it was a government building they would not be enforcing the same rules on them that they are enforcing on our local businesses."

A spokesperson for the State Fire Marshal's Office confirms they have not been able to locate our viewer's complaint and they are trying to determine who was working that night. The Marshal's Office maintains their employees are well-versed in the rules saying it's possible that their call taker "realized this was not a valid complaint and did not input into the system."

Our viewer said, "It really puts a lot of distrust in who is running the local enforcement agencies."

The Fire Marshal's Office confirms governments are not listed as cite-able in the Governor's proclamation.

The spokesperson went on to say if the members are six feet apart, they are legally able to remain unmasked and ready to address each other and members of the audience as council meetings are structured.

Our viewer noted after her call, the Mayor-President and his CAO were masked for nearly the remainder of the meetings.

"Actions speak louder than words and from what we're seeing, the actions of our local leaders is not pairing up with what they're saying," she said.

Guillory's Chief Communications Officer Jamie Angelle said, "There is a seat between the Mayor-President and his CAO. They are more than far away enough away from the audience. If anyone expects them to wear a mask when socially distanced for nine hours, that is ludicrous. Anytime someone went up to speak to them not socially distanced, they put their mask on."

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