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Tumultuous two days in Zachary capped off with city council meeting

4 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago Tuesday, February 11 2020 Feb 11, 2020 February 11, 2020 10:52 PM February 11, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

ZACHARY - Extra Zachary police officers kept the peace at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.

The heightened security comes after a tense two days in the town. There have been arguments over the handling of the arrest of middle school teacher Ellarea Silva

Silva is accused of having sex with a student and was arrested for carnal knowledge of a juvenile, indecent behavior with juveniles and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile last Thursday.

A bitter exchange between Mayor David Amrhein and councilman Lael Montgomery was recorded following a tense press conference on Monday.

Just a day later, a rally was held calling for a slew of people to be fired.

"Debby you will not harbor no fugitive pedophile in our schools. That's not going to happen, you've got to go,” Montgomery said.

The rally was led by Montgomery and members of the NAACP. Dozens there chanted for Northwestern Middle's principal, Debby Brian, to be fired along with other city officials.

“(Mayor David Amrhein) You are unfit to be a mayor, you shouldn't be a mayor. (Chief David) McDavid, you are unfit to be our chief of police,” Montgomery said.

Montgomery and others are not pleased with how the school district and police department handled the investigation into Silva. He feels that parents were kept out of the loop and claims there are other victims in this case.

"There are more kids, there are more kids. I have inbox messages telling me that there are more kids,” Montgomery said.

At the press conference on Monday, officials laid out the timeline that led to Silva’s arrest. Zachary School’s Superintendent stated that she was placed on leave the same day allegations were brought to the school’s attention.

Dozens more gathered for a prayer service outside city hall a short time after the rally on Tuesday.

“We're here today just in the aftermath of a tragedy to our community, to our school system. I feel like our best resort is to take it to God,” Zachary City council member Laura O’Brien said.

They prayed for the victim at his family, and also for unity in their city.

“I didn't think we had division until recently. It wasn't in response to that at all. I feel like more people were hurt in this. There was disappointment, betrayal. Children were affected,” O’Brien said.

City business still needed to get done in the midst of the war of words that's involved Mayor Amrhein, Chief McDavid and Montgomery.

Zachary's City Council held its first meeting since Silva's arrest. There were no words spoken between the three officials, just a silent tension that hung in the room. 

Meanwhile, Silva is still in jail as of Tuesday night on a $225,000 bond.

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