Lafayette City Marshal Can Now Add Citizen Paid Fees to Salary According to New Law
Former Lafayette City Marshal Brian Pope was indicted on multiple federal charges for pocketing fees paid by citizens to pad his income. At the time, Pope was told not to do it, but now there's a new law on the books saying it's OK to do exactly that.
The new law was signed by Governor John Bel Edwards this week allowing "the marshal to supplement his income with fees collected by his office" as reported by KATC.
We all know how laws change through the years. Something that's illegal today might not be in 5 years.
That being said, this new law has people raising an eyebrow or two and has many wondering why the law was even proposed in the first place.
From KATC -
We found out a version of this law was proposed in the 2020 legislative session before the current Marshal Reggie Thomas was elected but the change has some questioning why it's necessary.
With this new law, Lafayette Marshal Reggie Thomas's salary is estimated to increase from his base salary of $88,000 to $132,000 according to KATC.com.
State Senator Gerald Boudreaux explained why this practice has now become law.
From KATC -
"This will change the statute and provide clarity. It has the perimeters for what is acceptable for pay for the city marshal and it's consistent with what other marshals are doing”
As Boudreaux pointed out, using citizen-paid fees to supplement a Marshal's salary is apparently a common practice around the State. By doing so, it raises Lafayette Marshal Reggie Thomas's salary to a level that's on par with other Marshal's salaries around Louisiana and helps in keeping the position competitive with other departments.
I've said for years that we double the salaries for law enforcement and teachers and cut the salaries and perks for politicians in half.
To that point, I like the fact that this new law makes the position of Lafayette Marshal competitive and attractive. In theory, this should produce better candidates for the job, right?
The one question I have is, where has this money traditionally been going, and what if anything might suffer as a result of not getting it?
Read more at KATC.com.