Iberia Sheriff says pay up

The conversation became heated at the New Iberia City Council meeting Tuesday evening over the letter from Sheriff Louis Ackal saying the city owes his office for the housing of some prisoners and transportation of individuals for psychiatric evaluation around the state. Sheriff Ackal sent the letter to the city of New Iberia on August 1.

There was some back and forth between council members about the city's responsibility to pay the sheriff the more than one hundred thousand they were billed for leaving the meeting with questions still unanswered about their debts to the sheriff.

According to this invoice, provided by the sheriff's office, the city hasn't paid their monthly expenses for prisoners since April of this year, which city council member Natalie Robin says is because there are discrepancies and some of the prisoner stays recorded by the sheriff's office need further verification.

But Captain Ryan Turner of the sheriff's office says these so-called discrepancies may have more to do with sentencing from the courts.

As for the transportation of individuals who were issued an order of protective custody, Mayor Hilda Curry says the city has never been charged for it in the past.

However, Captain Turner says the sheriff's office has been sending them invoices since 2010, and the whole point of the letter was to bring the matter to the attention of her and the council.

Curry says the city plans to pay up on the prisoner expenses, or mandays, within the next couple of months.

But she says the city will be looking into whether or not they are responsible for the cost of transporting individuals issued an order of protective custody or a physicians emergency certificate.

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