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After police chief was ousted for misconduct, Plaquemine names interim replacement

1 year 6 months 1 week ago Tuesday, December 13 2022 Dec 13, 2022 December 13, 2022 8:15 PM December 13, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ
Kenny Payne

PLAQUEMINE - City officials named an interim chief of police Tuesday night after Chief Kenny Payne resigned following his malfeasance conviction last month.

The Mayor and Board of Selectman voted to name Robert Johnson III as the interim chief. Johnson previously worked in the department as assistant chief and later took on a job in the city government. He is the first Black Chief of Police to serve Plaquemine.

Johnson would take over the role pending a special election to decide a long-term replacement for Payne, who was charged with trying to solicit sex in exchange for favors.

The allegations against Payne were laid out in a series of WBRZ Investigative Unit reports earlier this year. 

The City of Plaquemine sent out the following press release to announce Johnson's appointment Tuesday:

The Plaquemine Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to appoint Robert “Robbie” Johnson, III as Plaquemine Police Chief during a special meeting on December 13.

The Board made the appointment after former Chief Kenny Payne plead “no contest” to two counts of malfeasance in office on November 28, and immediately retired from the Police Department. One count was for asking for an immoral sexual act, and the other count was for allegedly asking the Iberville Parish Sheriff to dismiss his case.

Johnson attended the Southern University Army ROTC program, spent four years in the U.S. Army, and was honorably discharged as a Staff Sargeant. He spent another four years with the Louisiana National Guard.

He has been with the Plaquemine Police Department since 1988, when he was hired as a patrol officer. He graduated from the LSU Law Enforcement Academy, and was promoted over the years to detective, sergeant, supervisor, Assistant Chief. After he retired in 2021, he returned to the force as Administrator.

He will serve as Interim Police Chief until a new police chief is elected. The Board set the election for the chief’s position for the March 25, 2023 election date.

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