With a 2-1 vote, Eckhart appointed as new Turkey Creek Chief of Police
Upon the resignation of Ben Bordelon, a void was created in the position of Turkey Creek Chief of Police. Tasked with filling the void was the village council, but the task did not come with a lack of fiery discussion.
Initially, councilman Joey Ducote recommended appointing Shane Lofton for the position. After some stonewalling on the part of Mayor Phillip Cavins, the council went into executive session to discuss the issue.
After the council emerged from executive session, Mayor Cavins said he would not recommend Lofton as chief. “Whenever he was previously employed with us,” the mayor said, “there were files that were not sent to the crime lab or the district attorney, and those cases got dismissed.”
The mayor added those cases involved drugs, guns, and cash “where the paperwork was not properly done.”
Councilman Ducote apologized to the public and said the council was under the impression, back when the position of chief became an appointed position, it had the authority to recommend a chief. “The mayor has sole authority,” he said, “and, if he will not recognize any recommendations we make, then that’s where it stops.”
Mayor Cavins replied he was not the one who made the proposal for an appointed chief. “I’m not sure what was promised, but, according to Louisiana law, the mayor makes the recommendation and the council votes on it,” he said. “The council cannot vote on a person if the mayor does not make that recommendation.”
Councilman Neal King also apologized to the public because the council was “under the understanding it could go ahead and vote on a chief.”
Mayor Cavins, then, recommended Shawn Eckhart as chief of police.
“It’s your decision who you are going to appoint,” Eckhart said. “I’m here to do something if you ask me to do it.”
Fiery discussions, which began earlier in the meeting, continued among the mayor and council, members of the public, and Eckhart and Lofton.
When the time for the vote came, Councilman King and Councilman Kurry Stewart voted for Eckhart, while Councilman Ducote voted against. However, Lofton was hired as a part-time police officer for the village.
In other business, the council approved the ordinances to raise the water deposit, to amend the rental agreement for the community center, and for the building permit requirement.