New Iberia Mayor Hilda Curry has set a date for the suspension of Fire Chief Ronald Bourque—Nov. 4.
The city's Fire and Police Civil Service Board recommended Chief Bourque's suspension after it claims he ignored a subpoena to appear in front of them on June 6 to discuss whether a fire captain was performing duties outside of his job description and not being paid for it.
The suspension will last Nov. 4 through Nov. 8.
“Choosing that period of time between was not arbitrary says Mayor Curry. She says she chose that period of time because it would cause the least amount of collateral damage to the city.
“We have The Sugar Cane Festival and in October there is the Gumbo Cook Off, so I tried to select dates that would have the least impact on the department and city” says Curry.
The board voted to suspend Bourque last month and the board's vice chairman, Quinten Adcock, says the city can survive without him for five days.
“The chief takes vacation and the department still functions so this should be no different,” says Adcock.
Curry says she legally has no timeline and was waiting for his letter of appeal, which she received last Tuesday.
“This man is running the department, so I'm gonna do what's best for the department,” says Curry.
The board voted to suspend him without pay after it says he refused to respond to a subpoena for a June 6 meeting.
Bourque is now appealing the board's decision and Adcock says they are moving to hear the appeal within the next three weeks.
“He appealed a week ago, so he asked to do it within 30 days, so we're trying to do it, adhere to his wishes, which would put its timeline somewhere at the beginning of next month,” says Adcock.
Bourque has told News 10 KLFY, he's hired an attorney and won't make any further comments until the matter is settled. But, here's what mayor curry had to say on Thursday.
“It's a personnel matter and he's appealed it and I think eventually you know through his appeals the truth will be revealed,” says Curry.
If the board upholds their recommendation for suspension, Bourque could still appeal to the 16th Judicial District Court.
If his court date is after Nov. 4 and the judge decides against his suspension, he will get paid for his five days of leave.