Sorrento voters had their say Tuesday after more than a year of drama and embarrassing revelations about their police chief and police department.
Sorrento voters decided to abolish the town’s police chief and police department nearly 2-to-1, complete but unofficial returns say.
“Yes” votes to abolish the department and chief won 65 percent Tuesday while “no” votes have 35 percent, returns from the Louisiana Secretary of State show.
“Yes” votes won 339 votes to 186 “No” votes. Turnout was 49.9 percent.
Sorrento voters were asked to decide whether to abolish the town’s police department and elected police chief.
A “yes” vote abolishes the department and chief while a “no” vote retains it.
Town officials had said they would contract with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office if voters do away with the department. The push comes after the town’s former chief Earl Theriot resigned from office and pleaded guilty in February to lying to an FBI agent over “inappropriate sexual contact” Theriot had with a woman while he was on duty.
The town already has an new elected police chief, Fern Barnett, 71, who has no law enforcement experience, to fill Theriot’s term after two opponents dropped out.
Barnett, who can still fill out Theriot’s remaining term through June 30, 2017, has said she would strongly consider resigning as chief if voters abolished her position and the department.
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