LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The Lafayette Fire and Police Civil Service Board Chairman, Vice Chairman, and attorney are in the hot seat after a councilman calls for their resignations.
On Tuesday, LCG Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux played a recording.
Boudreaux stated that he obtained the recording from one of the civil service board meetings. In the recording, a remark uttered made about Lafayette NAACP President, Marja Broussard.
Some people called the remark racist. The accused board attorney told KLFY News that’s far from true.
“…We can’t hang the poor lady by, you know, by a rope in front of the courthouse for the birds to pick her eyes out…” (partial recording)
Councilman Boudreaux translated the recording. He read that “the chairman said I’m going to tell you what I want. The attorney said you can’t do that they closed debtor’s prison. Boudreaux explained that debtor’s prison was a place where people went in the 1800’s when they couldn’t pay their bills. Men and women were locked up together.
Attorney Hatten confirmed that’s it was her in the recording.
Hatten said Marja Broussard was standing nearby. “My comment was nothing more than a joke and a biblical reference that you can’t do these things. All you can do is collect,” explains Hatten.
Hatten said the talk between her and Chairman Jason Boudreaux wasn’t private. She said it was at a public meeting and about an agenda item. Hatten said Broussard lost a lawsuit against the board that involved racial accusations. She said Broussard was sanctioned to pay.
Hatten said that’s when the discussion got heated. “I did it in jest. Marja was sitting right there. If she for one second thought I was inappropriate in trying to diffuse the situation I would have expected her to say something. I would have been happy to say that was at all what I was getting at,” said Hatten. Hatten said for a politician to use the recording explains the need for civil service.
Vice Chairman Lt. Guy Lebreton is also on Boudreaux’s resignation list. He agreed with Hatten about the need for a civil service board. “I find it interesting that one councilman is taking a great interest in dismantling the civil service board only after we voted in April against his wishes,” noted Lebreton.
Councilman Boudreaux has requested the council attorney inquire about denying payment of fees to the board attorney based on the recordings.
Plus, Boudreaux wants the mayor-president to start over the search for a new police chief. Boudreaux says the process that began with the civil service board is damaged.