Bill Bliss

Bill Bliss

FRENCH SETTLEMENT -- Mayor Toni Guitreau said she plans to recommend an interim head for the police department following the resignation of Harry Brignac.

Guitreau will seek approval from the Board of Aldermen to appoint Bill Bliss to the post Brignac vacated on Oct. 31. She will make the recommendation at the Nov. 14 meeting.

Bliss served five months as police chief after the Louisiana State Board of Ethics forced Brignac to resign for failing to file finance reports three years in a row.

If the board approves the appointment, Bliss would serve at the helm of the police department until an election in October 2019, which will coincide with the state gubernatorial primary.

The village had the option of bringing the issue to voters in May, but it would have cost the village upwards of $10,000, Guitreau said.

"If we wait until October, it will cost 12 to 25 percent of that amount," she said.

Brignac resigned one day after he turned himself in to the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office for malfeasance in office.

The charge stemmed from his admission to media that he allowed his wife, Tammy D. Brignac, to drive a police unit as she followed him home after they picked up the vehicle from a Baton Rouge auto dealership.

21st Judicial District Court Judge Jeff Johnson on Sept. 11 barred Tammy Brignac from driving for two years as part of a sentence following an arrest in February for driving while intoxicated and driving under suspension.

Harry Brignac had been arrested on another malfeasance charge in July 5 when he was accused of using a village fleet fuel card to purchase $60 in gasoline for his personal vehicle. He is set to appear in court Nov. 29.

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