Marksville mayor, chief had authority to appoint investigator without council approval

Atty Gen. issues opinion on Marksville P.D. question

Marksville’s mayor and police chief were within their authority to assign a city police officer to serve as an “internal affairs investigator” and the City Council’s action to undo that appointment is “ineffective,” the state Attorney General’s Office said in a recent opinion.

Lemoine had attempted to name Jason Brouillette as assistant chief at the April 10 meeting, on recommendation of Police Chief Elster Smith. However, the council postponed acting on the recommendation, pending further review. Lemoine said the job description of the “assistant chief” is the same as an “internal affairs investigator.”

Lemoine said he made the appointment after the April meeting under his authority “to make a temporary 90-day appointment without council approval.”

The AG opinion, issued June 7 in response to Lemoine’s request for an opinion, said the appointment “was valid, either under the chief of police’s power to assign police personnel, or the mayor’s authority to hire police personnel.”

Since the action was legal and within the administrators’ authority, the City Council could not legally undo or prohibit the action.

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