From recorded encounters to disruptive council meetings, it is crystal clear that the historical town of New Llano has been shaken up over these last few months.
With fierce elections for new and old leaders on the horizon, there has been finger-pointing and slung-slander from the bottom to the top.
From the “he said” to “she said,” the voters of New Llano are getting more of a workout from shaking their heads back and forth than they would be in a Richard Simmons's workout session.
While the chaos ensues and escalates, they can at least take comfort in some hard facts with clear and concise laws.
The following laws come directly from the Lawrason Act which governs all municipalities in Louisiana.
LA RS 33:404-A(1) indicates:
The duties of a Mayor are to supervise and direct the administration and operation of all municipal departments, offices, and agencies, other than a police department with an elected chief of police…
LA RS 33:404-A(3) indicates:
Subject to applicable state law, ordinances, and civil service rules and regulations, to appoint and remove municipal employees, other than the employees of a police department with an elected chief of police.
Currently, the New Llano Police Department has an elected Chief of Police, Danny Hunt.
This position, in accordance with the law, prohibits the Mayor’s control over this Police Department.
By law, it is clear that the New Llano Police Department and its employees, including but not limited to: secretary, dispatch, officers, janitor, leaf picker-upper, rock collector, Police Department Bowling League President, knitting-door-greeter, etc., is governed solely by the Chief of Police, Danny Hunt.
The initial recorded encounter between Mayor Boswell and Chief Hunt began a war that most politicians could not master.
The meeting also showed Mayor Boswell demanding Chief Hunt for names of officers to “fire.”
It indicated that Mayor Boswell was, in his words, “checking up on them (New Llano Police Officers) because they aren’t doing their job.”
By law, the Mayor does not have the authority to employ or fire anyone under the Police Department as Chief Danny Hunt is an elected Police Chief and holds all authority for employees in his department.
With all personal feelings and bias aside, the law is clear on this particular matter.
The elected Chief of Police does not work for the Mayor.
The Mayor has no authority in a Police Department with an elected official.
The Mayor’s demands for Chief Hunt to give names of his employees, dispatch or officer, goes against the facts and laws of the land.
The unnecessary stress to the community should end with the information located in La. RS 33:404.
With this knowledge, the voters of New Llano can reflect upon the previous incidents, interviews, and quotes and make a more defined judgment on who they wish to represent them as a town.
This should also answer several questions and concerns for the members of the New Llano Township.
The law is clear.
The jurisdictions of positions are clear.