Louisiana Police Chief Faces 5 Counts Of Malfeasance

PLAQUEMINE, La. (AP) — A south Louisiana police chief facing five counts of malfeasance in office surrendered to authorities Tuesday and was later released after posting $25,000 bond.

Plaquemine Police Chief Kenny Payne was indicted Monday by an Iberville Parish grand jury, news outlets reported.

“The next step is, we’ll arraign him, and will give him a motion date, then we’ll hear his motions, and then we’ll put him on the trial docket so they can have his day in court,” said District Attorney Tony Clayton, with the 18th Judicial District.

Most of the charges against Payne are related to Payne allegedly asked for sexual favors from a woman in exchange for having charges dropped against the woman's boyfriend, according to the indictment. The indictment also says Payne ordered a lieutenant to delete text messages received from the alleged victim and that Payne also asked Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi “to not conduct or to cease conducting an investigation of him.”

Payne is also accused of using the City of Plaquemine’s storage building for his personal use.

“It’s very sad. Because you know, in law enforcement we’re held to a different standard. But it is what it is. This case is not just based on innuendos, but there’s evidence," Clayton said.

Plaquemine’s Board of Selectman appointed Payne to serve as interim police chief in 2015, after then-Chief Orian Gulotta’s death. Payne ran for and was elected to the office in 2016 and has been chief ever since.

Payne previously told Mayor Ed Reeves he has no plans to resign.

“He said at some point in his career he's going to retire, but he's going to do it on his time and on his nickel,” Reeves told WAFB-TV.

“That’s up to him," Clayton said regarding the resignation issue. "The only obligation he has is if he’s convicted he has to relinquish his seat. But he’s only indicted, so until he’s convicted he can stay there as long as he wants until that point,” Reeves said.