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Investigative Unit: New Roads police chief resigns over inappropriate relationship with female officer

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NEW ROADS - The New Roads Police Chief resigned Tuesday morning after an internal review concluded that he had an inappropriate relationship with a female officer.

Police Chief Delaney Lee, who was chief for a little more than a year, turned in his resignation the morning before a meeting to discuss his dismissal.

During the New Roads City Council meeting Tuesday, Mayor Theron Smith cleared up details concerning rumors and expressed his disappointment with how Lee's employment with the police department ended.

"I'm weighted down with disappointed and sadness - disappointment on a professional level and sadness on a human level," Mayor Smith said. 

Mayor Smith spoke during the meeting on Tuesday and said a female officer reported her relationship to the assistant chief on Jan. 24. The woman told the assistant chief that the relationship ended in August 2023, but she felt she had to come forward to clear up rumors. 

The assistant chief filed a report with the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office. They determined no criminal charges should be filed. The investigation was then turned over to the mayor's office, where they started an internal review. During the investigation, Lee admitted he had two inappropriate relations with the officer, who said Lee never sexually or mentally harassed her. 

City Councilmember Kirk White say Lee was right in stepping down.

"Due diligence was done. I think from our part, the City of New Roads and the sheriff's department," White said. "I think it was handled properly."

Mayor Smith said both the officer and Lee expressed remorse over the situation. 

Assistant Police Chief James Johnson will step up as chief, during the search for a replacement chief.

The WBRZ Investigative Unit discovered Chief Delaney Lee did not disclose a 1996 misdemeanor charge for solicitation of a prostitute on his application for the job. Lee pleaded guilty, was fined and put on probation for a year. 

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