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Iberville fire chief admits to falsifying records; Residents paying the price

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BAYOU SORREL - Director of Iberville Parish Fire and Emergency John Marques could not believe what the former fire chief of the Bayou Sorrel Volunteer Fire Department did.

He says Travis Dupree sent a long list of false information to an agency that grades fire departments.

"He could face insurance fraud and filing and maintaining false public records," John Marques said.

That document contained false information about the fire department's equipment, training and its ability respond to emergencies.

The false filing could mean property owners will have to pay more for insurance, even though the information has since been corrected.

Jennifer Hebert and her family received a letter saying her insurance could be affected by what the former fire chief did.

"I don't think we should have to pay higher rates for what someone else did wrong."

She's known Dupree for years.

"He's always been a good guy and wanted to help people," Hebert said.

After a joint investigation by the Iberville Sheriff's Office and the State Fire Marshal, parish officials decide not to file charges against Dupree after he admitted what he did.

"After admitting he done wrong, he then agreed that he would sign a letter apologizing to the community and the parish council that he did wrong," Marques said.

After the incident, officials say Dupree can never again work for a fire department in the state of Louisiana.

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