Posted: Jun 18, 2014 6:32 PM by Rebecca Buchanan
Updated: Jun 18, 2014 6:32 PM
SORRENTO - A former mayor who cost Sorrento half-a-million dollars in a car crash settlement is back on the town's payroll.
Brenda Melancon was arrested, but never indicted, after a deadly wreck with a motorcycle in 2007. Now she's the clerk for Sorrento Police after the former clerk resigned.
Sorrento Mayor Mike Lambert said despite the car crash, Melancon spent almost two decades in the clerk's office and that he considers her a good fill-in until the town can find a permanent replacement.
Sorrento's citizens weren't quite sure about that.
"Give her a chance, they can always get rid of her," said George Fillmore in support of hiring Melancon.
"Well the first time we are a victim, the second time we are a volunteer, it's nice to give someone a second choice but not on my tax dollars," said Charlie Oliphant, a Sorrento business owner.
Melancon's hiring is happening while the town decides whether it should fund the police department at all. Some leaders are trying to strip the department's budget and use the Ascension Sheriff Department's services instead. Voters will decide the matter later this year.
"Someone needs to pay attention, someone needs to be monitoring it all the time, and I don't know who you get to do that, but why dump all of this work on the sheriff's department? We need a local PD," Oliphant said.
"Bottom line, you either can afford it or you can't, you know?," Fillmore said.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office currently handles emergency calls in Sorrento until the vote is held.