By Daniel Jones, Sabine Index editor
On July 9 at a special called meeting of the Many town council, Assistant Police Chief Dewayne Brumley was relieved of duty upon recommendation of current Police Chief Roger Freeman. The termination was tendered due to several different instances, including behavior following a contentious meeting between the police department and town council several weeks ago which saw Mayor Ken Freeman arrested on previous charges stemming from an incident months before.
The votes for his termination were provided by James Kennedy, Anita Darwin, and Gay Corley. Abstaining were Mary Brocato and Bobbie Jackson, who have had issues with Brumley leading up to this meeting. Before the meeting was called to order, Mayor Freeman offered the public a chance for comment, which Brumley seized. He began by asking Councilwoman Mary Brocato why she was so angry and shook a finger in his face at the aforementioned meeting. He admitted to calling the councilwoman a “bitch” but stated that she also called him a “fool.” Councilwoman Jackson added that he asked her to slap him, which was verified. Brumley then asked Councilman James Kennedy if he had made the recommendation to be fired at the council meeting.
The mayor then stated that all councilpersons had asked that Brumley be relieved of duty. Brumley asked if the council was aware that he offered to work nights. The mayor then pointed out that the town was completely without police protection for an hour when their one patrolman on duty was tied up in a medical emergency several weeks ago. “I offered,” Brumley said. “There was a miscommunication.” Minutes later Brumley would say that the problem isn’t the department, it’s Chief Roger Freeman.
Brumley then asked the council why he wasn’t allowed in Mayor’s Court. “You lied in court and were asked not to come back,” the mayor said. “You lied about a law and a woman took her case to district court. Your temper flares and you’re rude.” Brumley didn’t take a second to form his response and stated that the mayor had a bad habit of talking down to people in the court. He continued by asking Councilwoman Gay Corley if she still resides on Ponder Street. She quickly produced a document as proof that she does.
Brumley then pursued other questioning, verifying from Chief Freeman that he had been employed for several years and not once received a write up or been disciplined for infractions. Brumley then went on to say that the police chief was going to work with the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office, which the chief verified as being part time work. Before long, the subject shifted onto recordings made of conversations with the police chief. Conversation then veered into his saying there was no sheriff’s department investigation of the matter several weeks before. Brocato verified that she did an oral interview at the department just to have it on record.
Brocato then asked Chief Freeman if he was aware of being recorded. Brumley clarified that he had never recorded anything over the phone, likely due to Louisiana’s Electronic Surveillance Act. “Why record?” asked Kennedy. Dewayne responded because you can’t believe anything the chief says. A motion was made by Kennedy and seconded by Brocato. As stated before, Brocato and Jackson abstained from voting due to close involvement in the situation.
“Things have been heated and got out of hand,” Brocato said. “I’ve learned that a person who carries a grudge is poisoned by it. I carry no ill will or animosity.” She offered forgiveness which Dewayne accepted. In wrapping up the meeting, Brocato noted that things had been adversarial, but sincerely believes the mayor, council, and police department wants what is safest for the town.
“Can we now work together?” she asked. Mayor Freeman then noted that if things did break down again, they now have the option of a mediator.
With no more business to be conducted, the meeting adjourned.