Sorrento Council Fires Assistant Police Chief
SORRENTO, La. (AP) — The Sorrento Town Council has fired Assistant Police Chief Billy Ballard, citing Ballard and another town police officer and their alleged roles in an ongoing police investigation.
The Advocate reports Ballard had no comment after a nearly 90-minute executive session Tuesday night that preceded his dismissal, but Sorrento Police Chief Earl Theriot threatened legal action on behalf of Ballard.
"We'll see you in court," Theriot told the Town Council.
Mayor Wilson Longanecker, Jr., presiding over his first Town Council meeting since foot surgery placed him on medical leave in February, declined to comment on what was discussed during the executive session.
Longanecker said he was "very uncomfortable" with how the meeting ended and had hoped the Town Council would postpone acting on the issue Tuesday night and continue it at a future meeting.
"It didn't seem right," Longanecker said of Ballard's dismissal.
After the council voted to take no action against Officer Ricky Smith, who, like Ballard, was brought to a back room to meet with the Town Council in executive session, Councilman Randy Anny made a motion to fire Ballard.
Theriot said Ballard had been on suspension for "violating a policy," but declined to comment further on the matter.
"Do they want to shut the Police Department down?" Theriot said after the meeting.
This is the second time in less than two weeks the Town Council has fired a Police Department officer.
On Aug. 9, the Town Council dismissed Officer Cory R. Prine after he admitted to violating police policy by demonstrating the effect of a Taser stun gun on a Louisiana Technical College student in 2009 after the student asked him to do so.
The Sorrento Police Department is now down to four full-time police officers, said Ballard.
Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com