Police chief retires shortly after suspension

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The retirement of St. Martinville Police Chief Paula Smith was sudden. Mayor Thomas Nelson says Smith brought it up on Monday, turned in her paperwork on Tuesday, and will be out by Friday.  

“All I was told, and didn’t want to dig no further, that she felt it was time for her to retire. It was time for her to go enjoy her life,” said Mayor Nelson. 
On May 5th, the city council voted to suspend Smith for two days, without pay, for allegedly forgetting to turn in her monthly reports on traffic citations.

Nelson said during their talks there was no indication the suspension played any factor in her retirement. “If it do, I don’t know anything about it,” said Nelson.  

Nelson said he’s 80 percent to 90 percent positive he will have her replacement by Friday.

“I’m not at liberty, at this time, to name any names. Hopefully, a decision will be made. Hopefully, it’s done,” said Nelson.

Otherwise, he said, he will be naming an temporary replacement. “One way or the other we’ll announce who will be the new chief or who will be the interim,” said Nelson.  

We were able to get a hold of smith, who was allegedly out of town. She did not want to comment on her retirement.

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