Lafayette

Jul 15, 2014 8:31 PM by KATC

Duson Council votes to fire police chief

The Duson Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to terminate Police Chief Frank Andrew.

The vote came after an executive session with the chief and a recommendation from Mayor Johnny Thibodeaux, though it's still unclear why the mayor and council opted to end Andrew's employment with the police department.

Both Thibodeaux and Andrew declined to specify the reasons for the termination.

"We're moving forward, and we're taking this in stride," Thibodeaux said.

The vote to fire Andrew has been culminating for at least a month. Andrew walked out of a council meeting in June, when the council was slated to discuss the chief's employment.

Council members told Andrew at the June 21 meeting that he was under investigation for allegedly gambling while on duty. The chief has maintained that he's always on the clock because there are only two officers in the Duson Police Department.

Andrew took personal leave in February, citing "personal reasons." He returned in April.

Marcus Allen, Andrew's attorney, said he is still trying to get clarification on the definition of "on duty" versus "on call." He said this is not the end of the fight for Andrew's job.

"I think there was a clear objective when we walked in [the executive session]," Allen said. "We just didn't know what that objective was. No one has supplied me with documents to understand the procedure for termination."

Mayor Pro Tem Carroll Pepper abstained from voting on Andrew's termination because he was the one who made a complaint about the chief, Allen said.

Before the council's executive session and subsequent vote to fire Andrew, the council voted unanimously to amend its drug policy for employees.

The old ordinance allowed employees who tested positive for drugs to undergo substance abuse treatment - at the employee's expense - and then have his or her job reinstated upon the completion of treatment.

Thibodeaux said the new ordinance is a "zero tolerance" policy for employees. Any employee who tests positive for drugs can be terminated immediately.

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