New Iberia Fire Chief fighting suspension

New Iberia Fire Chief Ronald Bourque will now have the opportunity to argue the Fire and Police Civil Service Board's recommendation for his suspension after filing an appeal on August 21.

We spoke with Chief Bourque at his office on Thursday afternoon, but he says he's unable to make a comment at this time. He says, however, he has hired an attorney. We did get a comment from Mayor Hilda Curry on Thursday she says, “Chief Bourque has the right to appeal, like any other municipal employee.”

But a source close to the civil service board says, “unless he brings any different information to the board, since last time Bourque spoke with them, the decision will stand.”

Marc McAnally, president of the New Iberia Firefighters Association, says Bourque has a few options when he meets with the board about his recommended five day suspension without pay.

“He could either have it overturned completely or he could have it reduced,” says McAnally.

The recommendation from the board came after Bourque allegedly dodged a subpoena to appear in front of them on June 6.

McAnally says he agrees with their decision, but disagrees with Mayor Curry allowing Bourque the full 15 day period to file an appeal.

“From now on, if a firefighter on-line does something that warrants an investigation and disciplinary action, is the mayor going to wait for that firefighter to appeal before she actually disciplines the firefighter?” says McAnally.

The source close to the board says, if Bourque disagrees with their next recommendation, he could appeal to the 16th Judicial District Court.

The board will discuss setting a date for Bourque's appeal hearing at their next meeting on September 12.

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