The wife of the police chief in French Settlement, LA, drove the police vehicle in the annual holiday parade in December 2017. From that incident, locals are questioning the appropriateness of this behavior.
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Chief Harry Brignac has acknowledged that his wife, Tammy, drove the police vehicle. He even admitted that she has been behind the wheel of his official vehicle more than once. The mayor and members of the village board of Aldermen have independent confirmation of this repeat behavior.
This behavior causes significant concern for village officials, since the village insurance does not extend to cover the chief’s wife. As a result, a motion was made and approved at a meeting following the holiday parade incident to ask the state attorney general if legal measures could be taken to prevent the chief’s wife from continuing to drive the vehicle.
The behavior brings up such concern because the chief’s wife has been seen driving the vehicle to her own employment and also during inclement weather, such as a snowstorm. These behaviors indicate that she may be abusing the privilege and increasing the risk of an accident and significant damage to the vehicle, which might not be covered by the village insurance due to the fact she was driving.
The matter could be resolved quickly if Tammy Brignac would supply her driver’s license number so she could be added to the village insurance. However, Tammy refuses to do so, citing prior issues with identity theft and a lack of trust in the village council with her personal information as her reason. She notes that it has taken her a significant amount of time to recover good credit due to the incident of identity theft. She wants to protect her identity as much as possible now, which is why she refuses to submit the driver’s license number.
In an interesting side note, the chief was forced to resign from his job briefly in 2016 because he refused to file personal finance disclosures and also failed to pay fines associated with that decision. The fines were ultimately paid, and the chief won the job back at the next election.
The chief maintains that it is up to him who he has drive police vehicles. However, he also says that his wife only drives the vehicle to bring it to him upon his request. He states she does not drive during bad weather or to her place of employment. Tammy Brignac has stated she drove the car in the past but has not done so recently.
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