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Councilwoman calls for BRPD chief changes

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BATON ROUGE - A Metro Council member called for changes to how the Baton Rouge Police Chief is selected, after the recently fired chief accused city-parish officials of keeping him from doing his job.

Council member C. Denise Marcelle said on Facebook Thursday that Dewayne White's accusations left a lot of unanswered questions about the future of the city.

"I would like to propose that we change the plan of government and allow the citizens of East Baton Rouge to elect their Chief!" she posted. "If not that, then merge the city with the sheriffs!"

At a press conference Thursday, White's attorney said Mayor Kip Holden stepped in and kept him from making any transfers or taking disciplinary action without the approval of the Mayor's Office.

White also accused the mayor's chief administrative officer of telling him to take steps in order to prevent the media from finding out about issues within the police department.

The police chief is an appointed position, determined by the mayor. White was selected in May 2011, and fired Wednesday due to a "substantial disagreement with the direction of the Baton Rouge Police Department" according to the letter of termination he was given.

For the second day in a row, WBRZ News 2 tried to get a comment from the mayor on the situation. Wednesday, he said it was a "personnel matter," and wouldn't discuss it. Thursday, he avoided news crews.


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