It’s been more than a month since the Board of Alderman in Jeanerette fired the city’s police chief but the search for his replacement is at a standstill.
The board is trying to figure out whether it wants to operate under the Lawrason Act or a special charter.
“It really boils down to whether the mayor has the authority to hire a chief or not hire a chief.” said Jeanerette City Marshal Fernest “Pacman” Martin who was chosen to be the interim chief after the previous one was fired.
The attorney general also issued an opinion on the legality of the city marshal overseeing the police department.
He said Martin can only be the Interim Chief of Jeanerette Police on a part time basis.
Martin says he is proud to serve the city as the marshal and as its interim police chief.
“If anything they should expect an increase in with patrol, an increase in professionalism, an increase with our reaction in regards to criminal activity.” he said.
I also approached Jeanerette Mayor April Foulcard for comment as she was walking into city hall.
“How the city runs its charter system either under the Lawrason act or a special charter?” I asked.
“More research on has to be done.” she responded.
I attempted to ask Foulcard more questions, but she quickly declined to comment further.
Other alderman I tried to reach out to were unavailable for comment.
However, Alderman Clarence Clark also explained that deciding which charter to operate under affects the city’s tax structure.
He says taxes have been passed with multiple charters and when Jeanerette chooses the one they want—some of the city’s taxes could be nullified.