LIVINGSTON – Alleged misuse of a municipal fleet fuel card for a personal vehicle led to French Settlement Police Chief Harry Brignac’s arrest Wednesday, Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard said.

Brignac was booked on counts of malfeasance in office and injuring public documents – both felony charges – and a misdemeanor count of theft. He was released on $50,000 bond.

Brignac turned himself in to authorities Wednesday morning, Ard said.

“Chief Brignac has been very cooperative during the entire investigation,” he said.

The arrest stemmed from a 24-gallon fuel purchase – at a total cost of $60.00 -- Brignac made May 15 at a convenience store on La. 16 near French Settlement.

“The purchase was not authorized by the Village of French Settlement,” Ard said.

A video surveillance camera captured the unauthorized purchase, which Brignac made while wearing his police uniform, he said.

A routine check of monthly fuel use by the police department noted discrepancies, French Settlement Mayor Toni Guitreau said.

“As Mayor of French Settlement, I’d like to say that this matter was turned over and is under investigation by the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, so any questions should go to them,” she said. “The French Settlement Chief of Police is elected and therefore not an employee of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

“I have confidence in Sheriff Ard and our District Attorney Scott Perrilloux, as they do their job investigating this matter, be it a civilian or an elected official,” Guitreau said. “This will be a difficult time ahead as this unfortunately effects the community, too.”

Brignac is considered innocent until proven guilty, and therefore can remain police chief until a court renders a verdict, Ard said.

Ard said Brignac is a longtime friend whom he has known his entire 28 years in law enforcement.

“It’s very unfortunate and very disappointing, but evidence is evidence,” Ard said. “And, as the chief law enforcement officer for the parish of Livingston, I have a job to do.”

LIVINGSTON – Alleged misuse of a municipal fleet fuel card led to French Settlement Police Chief Harry Brignac’s arrest Wednesday, Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard said.

Brignac was booked on counts of malfeasance in office and injuring public documents – both felony charges – and a misdemeanor count of theft. He was released on $50,000 bond.

Brignac turned himself in to authorities Wednesday morning, Ard said.

“Chief Brignac has been very cooperative during the entire investigation,” he said.

Brignac allegedly purchased 24 gallons of fuel – at a total cost of $60.00 - for his pickup truck May 15 at a convenience store on La. 16 near French Settlement.

“The purchase was not authorized by the Village of French Settlement,” Ard said.

A video surveillance camera captured the unauthorized purchase, which Brignac made while wearing his police uniform, he said.

A routine check of monthly fuel use by the police department noted discrepancies, French Settlement Mayor Toni Guitreau said.

“As Mayor of French Settlement, I’d like to say that this matter was turned over and is under investigation by the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, so any questions should go to them,” she said. “The French Settlement Chief of Police is elected and therefore not an employee of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen.

“I have confidence in Sheriff Ard and our District Attorney Scott Perrilloux, as they do their job investigating this matter, be it a civilian or an elected official,” Guitreau said. “This will be a difficult time ahead as this unfortunately effects the community, too.”

Brignac is considered innocent until proven guilty, and therefore can remain police chief until a court renders a verdict., Ard said.

Ard said Brignac is a longtime friend whom he has known his entire 28 years in law enforcement.

“It’s very unfortunate and very disappointing, but evidence is evidence,” Ard said. “And, as the chief law enforcement officer for the parish of Livingston, I have a job to do.”

Brignac is currently in his ninth term as police chief. He was forced to resign in 2016 after he failed to file campaign finance reports over three years. He paid the fine and won a race to regain his seat in March 2017. 

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