Loreauville fire chief resigns

LOREAUVILLE — The chief of the Loreauville Volunteer Fire Department said he was given an ultimatum Tuesday night to either tender his resignation or face having the department's funding cut off, an allegation Mayor Brad Clifton denies.

"So, last night I was forced to resign by the mayor from the fire department or he would have cut the funding out from the fire department and shut it down," former LVFD Chief Brody Champagne said Wednesday morning.

When reached for comment, Clifton said that not only did he not make the threat to cut funds, he doesn't have the power to take those monies away from the department even if he wanted to.

"Residents pay a $3 fee that is dedicated to the fire department," Clifton said Wednesday afternoon. "It can't be spent on anything else."

A special meeting the village of Loreauville Board of Aldermen announced Tuesday to address issues within the department has been cancelled, Clifton said.

"Now that he turned in his resignation, we don't need to hold the special meeting," Clifton said.

The issue of Champagne's volunteer role with the fire department arose after he quit his full-time job as a maintenance worker with the village over the weekend. Champagne said he quit after a verbal altercation with Clifton. He also said he had received a letter Tuesday morning banning him from all village buildings.

Clifton said Assistant Fire Chief Damien Hebert will take over as the LVFD chief in the interim.

"We're just going to keep working with the fire department to keep our insurance rates low and provide the service our village needs," Clifton said. "We want to move forward."

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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