Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Council Votes for an Independent Investigation

by KAREN LAGRANGE COX

Tensions were high in last night’s special city council meeting in Youngsville. The special meeting was held to vote on Resolution No 2023-08 – A Resolution of the Youngsville City Council authorizing and directing the Mayor to secure an independent investigation of the Youngsville Chief of Police.

An amendment was added to the ordinance to add the scope of the investigation from when Boudreaux was sworn in as Youngsville Police Chief in 2015 to the present day. The amendment also includes for the Youngsville City Attorney Wade Trahan to seek out three possible human resource law firms to present to the city council during the next city council meeting.

The amended ordinance was passed unanimously by the council.

The council voiced its desire to be accountable to the public.

The investigation of the Youngsville Chief of Police Rick Boudreaux is to determine if any special treatment was given to former Youngsville City Council Member Kayla Menard-Reaux by Boudreaux when she was involved in a vehicle accident last November 12, 2022.

By her own admission, Reaux hit a car owned by Sherri Guidry, which was parked at a residence in Sugar Mill Pond. Both vehicles were undrivable, according to a police officer on the scene. This was heard on the police body cam.

According to an article in The Advocate by Megan Wyatt on March 27, 2023, Reaux called Boudreaux, who went to the accident scene. Guidry, from Houston, Texas, was visiting a friend in Youngsville at the time of the accident. The sound of the crash awakened Guidry, who called 911, and two Youngsville police officers went to the accident scene.

Reaux is reported to have been non-cooperative with the two investigating police officers and shouted expletives at the officers. According to Reaux, this was uncharacteristic behavior for her. She reports having gotten a concussion when hitting on her head during the accident, which she said caused her uncharacteristic behavior. Reaux has since apologized for her behavior.

Reaux was said to have not been issued a citation for the accident nor given a sobriety test. Boudreaux is said to have given Reaux a ride home, something he said he often does for people.

Reaux submitted her letter of resignation from the City Council on March 29, 2023.

During last night’s special council meeting, public comments were accepted. Comments were made both in favor of and against Reaux and Boudreaux.

George Knox, lawyer and former City Attorney for the City of Youngsville, questioned if the Mayor had the authority over the elected Chief of Police and the police department to make any changes to the department policies or personnel.

Mayor Ken Ritter stated that Reaux had received death threats. Boudreaux said he also received death threats.

Boudreaux made a statement at the council meeting saying he was asked to take a leave of absence. His response to the council was he would not do so, nor would he resign. He said he would cooperate 100% with the investigation but would continue to serve in his elected position of Chief of Police.

Boudreaux accused the city council of lying to Reaux in telling her they would support her if she would provide medical documents to back up that she suffered head trauma. Instead, the council asked her for her resignation. According to Boudreaux, Reaux submitted medical documentation to the council.

According to Boudreaux, Reaux was not intoxicated but tired and fatigued. He added her behavior was due to a head injury.

Boudreaux called out the remaining city council members, except Simone Champagne.

To view the council meeting, visit https://venue.streamspot.com/dc972bbf

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