by KAREN LAGRANGE COX
During last night’s Youngsville City Council meeting, the council unanimously voted to suspend Police Chief Rick Boudreaux’s monthly vehicle stipend of $1,000. Boudreaux had been getting the stipend since September 2016 for the use of his vehicle. The council approved the stipend in September 2016 instead of Boudreaux itemizing expenses for using his personal vehicle.
Since September 2016, Boudeaux is said to have turned in unauthorized receipts for his vehicle expenses. His vehicle expenses should have been covered through the monthly stipend Boudreaux was receiving. The overage paid to Boudreaux is $18,000. Boudreaux advised his expenses were documented, submitted, and paid. As the head of his department, no one else needed to approve his expenses. His expense receipts were sent to the City’s finance office and paid. Boudreaux said he expected if there were any issues with the expenses, he would have heard from the finance office, the council, or auditors.
Council Member Matt Romero, who requested this item be added to last night’s agenda, explained that the council approves fuel and vehicle expenses for entire departments and not for specific individuals in a department; therefore they were unaware of Boudreaux’s vehicle expenses having been submitted and paid.
The council unanimously approved an audit into Boudreaux’s vehicle expenses. The audit will go back to September. Until the audit is completed, the monthly stipend is suspended.
During the meeting, the council went into executive session. After the executive session ended, city attorney Wade Trahan advised the City would withhold its investigation into Boudreaux until the court determines whether an investigation can occur by the Lawrason Act.
If the investigation is allowed, the law firm will investigate if Boudreaux gave special favors to then-Youngsville Council Member Kayla Menard-Reaux when she hit a parked car in November 2022. Boudreaux was called by Reaux right after the accident occurred and met Reaux at the accident scene. The owner of the vehicle that was hit called 911, and two officers arrived at the scene. Reaux is said to have not been given a sobriety test nor a citation. Reaux is said to have left with Boudreaux. The investigation into Boudreaux will go back to 2015 when he took office as Youngsville Police Chief.
The council approved Resolution No. 2023-09, which authorized the City Attorney to obtain a law firm for an independent investigation of the Youngsville Chief of Police (Boudreaux) on behalf of the City of Youngsville. The City has retained the Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson law firm to investigate Boudreaux, with this fiscal year’s budget amended by $10,000 for payment to the law firm. The investigation will not occur until it is determined that an investigation is allowed by the Lawrason Act.
In other Council News
The final adoption of Ordinance No. 483-2023 was unanimously approved during last night’s council meeting. The ordinance allows for a bond sale of $14 million to expand the Youngsville Sports Complex.
The council approved Cody Dutile as a replacement for the Recreation Advisory Board Appointment for Division A. All council members approved Dutile’s appointment. Dutile replaced Logan Lannoo, who recently resigned from the appointment to serve as an interim council member for District A on the Youngsville City Council after the resignation of Kayla Menard-Reaux.