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Police chief accused of asking for sexual favors plans to resign to avoid criminal charges, his lawyer says
UPDATE: Plaquemine Mayor Ed Reeves said, as of Tuesday morning, Kenny Payne does not plan to resign from his position as police chief.
Payne's lawyer, Chuck Ward, told WBRZ Tuesday evening he has not heard from his client and is not aware of any changes to what he told WBRZ Monday.
For now, it appears Payne's future is unclear.
Read the original story below:
PLAQUEMINE - Plaquemine Police Chief Kenny Payne's lawyer, Chuck Ward, said his client will be resigning as the city's top cop to avoid possible criminal charges tied to a case where a woman alleged he crossed the line with her in exchange for having charges dropped against her boyfriend.
A grand jury was scheduled to convene Monday in Iberville Parish, but it was postponed at the last minute.
District Attorney Tony Clayton said he could not comment on pending criminal matters, but said there have been no deals agreed upon for Payne to avoid prosecution at this time. Clayton promised to do what is best for the citizens of Iberville Parish.
Ward said Payne maintains his innocence despite agreeing to resign. Though state records show he has two years remaining on his term, Payne's lawyer says he has worked enough years to start collecting retirement. When asked why he would resign if he's innocent, he told WBRZ's Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto that plenty of innocent people get dragged through the mud every day.
Over the summer, a woman alleged she was summoned to the Plaquemine Police department to collect some of her boyfriend's things. Her boyfriend had been arrested by the police department.
While she was in the building, she said Payne asked her for a "BJ" in exchange to have charges go away.
"He said I know you are willing to do anything to get him out," the woman told us this summer. "He took a sticky note off the lady's desk, it was a big pack, and he wrote 'will you give me a BJ to get him out of trouble?' He took it and did this and showed it to me."
Sources said Payne erased his phone after the encounter.
Initially, Payne agreed to do an on-camera interview with the WBRZ Investigative Unit. He called the allegations against him false and said he would fight them vigorously. Multiple attempts to get Payne to do an interview have not been successful.
Payne's accuser said she will never forget the encounter.
"He told me before I left out of his office, 'if you say anything I'm not just going to lose my job, but my family too,'" the woman said. "He should have thought about that before he did the things he did to me."
WBRZ reached out to Payne. He did not answer his cell or return a message left for him on his cell phone.
When asked, his lawyer said Payne is paying for his legal representation out of his own accounts and not using taxpayer money.
Payne has been the police chief in Plaquemine since 2015. Prior to that he served for more than a decade as the second-in-command at the police department. Payne started working there in 1995.
Sources told WBRZ that Payne has faced similar allegations from other women in the past, but those accusations apparently went nowhere.
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