UPDATE: Despite prior hesitation, Chief Rickey Boudreaux has issued an official statement regarding a traffic incident involving a council member.
Chief Boudreaux's Statement:
"This statement is in response to the recent article published by The Advocate on Sunday March 26, 2023. The article at issue stems from a motor vehicle collision involving Councilwoman Kayla Reaux, which occurred on November 12, 2022, at approximately 11:41 PM.
The video footage extracted from the officers’ body camera are the best evidence of the events which transpired on the night at issue. The article seeks to have the readers believe influence was placed upon the investigating officers given Ms. Reaux’s position as a City Councilwoman. Nothing could be further from the truth and the video shows just that. I, at no moment, directed or implied that Councilwoman Reaux should receive preferential treatment. I do not condone Councilwoman Reaux’s behavior towards the officer(s) on scene and the video shows me telling her to stop.
A careful examination of the footage, inclusive of the associated audio, evidences the investigating officers discussing whether a citation should be issued. At no time did I, as a supervisory officer and head of the department, interfere or participate in this discussion. All officers are afforded discretion in determining whether a citation should be issued and/or a sobriety test should be administered. After a thorough review of the videos produced, I feel the footage corroborates the officers’ decisions in exercising their discretion. Bear in mind these officers are protected under Civil Service from any political influence or retaliation. It should be noted that one of the investigating officers clearly states that regardless of “who is on scene,” he may elect to exercise his discretion and take over the investigation of this incident. Proof positive no influence was being exerted upon these officers. Not to mention, those who live in Youngsville and who know me, I personally respond to a number of incidents no matter who is involved, and they receive exactly the same treatment. I have served this community with Honor and Respect and will continue to do so with all of my abilities. I welcome any inquiries into this matter and feel this is my obligation as a public servant to the citizens of Youngsville.
Earlier today, the chief told KATC that he was planning to release a statement, and when we called to check on it, he replied that he wasn't sure he was going to send it to us.
"I have not released the statement yet and I'm hesitant to send out anything to your news agency with y'all being so closely tied to the Advocate," Boudreaux said in a text message. "When I decide to release my statement I'm going to send it to news agencies that will give unbiased and true information. I am not saying your agency is biased but the connection between your agency and The Advocate has me considering not sending it to either agency. No offense intended, just being cautious."
Here's a screen shot of that text:
The Advocate broke the story - which contains body cam video from Youngsville Police officers who worked the November 2022 crash - this weekend.
We reached out to the Advocate to see if they have a response, and received a comment from the Managing Editor of the Acadiana Advocate.
"The Acadiana Advocate story about the November wreck involving Youngsville Councilwoman Kayla Reaux is based on an hour of body camera footage, which is public and which people can view for themselves. We interviewed the parties involved in the situation – including Reaux and Police Chief Rickey Boudreaux – to ensure all information included in the story is accurate," said Kristin Askelson.
The council member involved crashed into a parked car shortly after midnight, and calls the chief who comes to the scene and releases her without a citation or a field sobriety test. She has since said, in a Facebook post, that she suffered a head injury in the crash and wasn't acting as she usually would because of it.
KATC is media partners with The Advocate, which means we often post each others' stories, with links back to the full original stories.
According to the story, council member Kayla Menard Reaux wouldn't cooperate with police officers who responded to the late-night crash, and instead called Boudreaux, who came to the scene and sent her on her way.
The crash happened a few minutes before midnight. Reaux, the daughter of longtime Youngsville Police Chief Earl Menard, said she called the current police chief after the crash because she had just left his house, The Advocate reports.
It isn’t clear why Reaux was at Boudreaux’s house or how long she was there. Boudreaux said the councilwoman dropped by to pick up something but declined to disclose specifically what she picked up. He said she did not drink or use drugs at his home, the newspaper reports.
Reaux said she had just driven back from Alabama with a relative, dropped him off and then went to Boudreaux’s house to pick up facial products from the police chief’s female friend. Reaux said she stayed and visited for about 20 or 30 minutes but did not consume anything that would affect her judgment, The Advocate reports.
To read the Advocate's full story and watch the body cam videos, click here.
Councilwoman Kayla Reaux issued the following statement regarding the automobile accident that she was involved in this past November: