Investigations loom over city, residents embarrassed
SORRENTO - A visit to the town hall by the Louisiana Board of Ethics is not sitting well with people in Ascension Parish.
One resident said the mounting scandals in her town are hard to deal with.
"You hope that's going to be the worst," said Jenifer Tingle, "and you find out that it's not. It's kind of tough."
She, and others, are embarrassed to hear the ethics commission is investigating a complaint into town leaders.
The inquiry comes less than two weeks after the police chief admitted he had inappropriate sexual conduct with a drunk woman in his custody, resigned, and pleaded guilty.
Monday, Mayor Mike Lambert would not say much about the complaint other than that the only town official not named in it was Sorrento Councilman Randy Anny.
Anny said he had no idea why he was not part of the complaint, and did not know what it was about. He also denied being the one who asked the Ethics Commission to show up.
The commission typically does not confirm or deny an investigation, which is usually prompted by a complaint. Details of complaints are also not made public. According to the agency, it focuses investigations on campaign finance and lobbyist donations plus conflicts of interest among public officials.
"I don't really know what's going on but I just want to know," David Shephard said.
"It's just another negative aspect that you just kind of want to go away. You want it fixed. But you want also want it to go away," Tingle said.
"I really hope that it doesn't get anymore serious than this," Natajah Smith said. "It's just sad. It makes me not want to live here anymore."
Local law enforcement agencies are investigating the complaint against the police chief and town leaders have yet to figure out a resolution to the issue of not having a police force since the department lost its insurance last year.