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Three vying for chief of officer-less police department

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Posted: Aug 22, 2014 9:01 PM by Trey Schmaltz
Updated: Aug 22, 2014 9:01 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: Sorrento, police, election, Trey Schmaltz

SORRENTO - Three people have qualified to run for a job that, in its current form, has no responsibilities.

Fern Barnett, Jerry LeBlanc, and "C.J." Martin are running for police chief in this small Ascension Parish town. Earlier this summer, the town council cut the department's budget to nothing and fired the interim chief.

The department has been mired in controversy. The former chief resigned amid a sandal that involved lying to federal investigators about sexual acts he had performed on him when detaining a woman. The small force worried its insurance provider so much, it was dropped because the risks out-weighed its payments.

In addition to being asked to vote on a police chief, voters will also be asked to shutter the department permanently. Currently, the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office patrols the town.
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