HE’S BACK! Rickey Boudreaux’s inauspicious return?

   

If you haven’t seen it, the news media is going crazy over a recent social media post by former Chief of Police for the City of Youngsville, Rickey Boudreaux. On June 26, 2024, Boudreaux made a post on Facebook which reads:

Today I am pleased to announce my Candidacy for Chief of Police for the city of Youngsville. I do not and will not take this responsibility lightly. I am returning to finish the job that you the citizens of Youngsville elected me to do, MAKE YOUNGSVILLE THE SAFEST CITY in LOUISIANA. We were well on course for that achievement when my health took a turn for the worse and I had to made the decision to take a medical retirement. Today I am excited to say after receiving the Proper Medical Care I feel better than I have in the last 15 years. I am ready to take the Department back over as your Chief and move the Department in the right direction. Today I am humbly asking for and need your vote to accomplish the goals that were put into Place. As I have said in jest who better to replace me as chief than me ?? Please know I will still keep my open door policy and am available to answer any questions you may have. So PLEASE VOTE RICKEY BOUDREAUX for CHIEF of POLICE !! Together we can make this community SAFE again.

The only problem is that he can’t!

Law enforcement is ignorant of the law

Many people have thrown their names in the proverbial hat regarding the upcoming City of Youngsville Chief of Police race. However, the qualifying period hasn’t opened up yet. This raises a separate question the City of Youngsville is grappling with—can someone participate in prohibited political activities before there are any political candidates in a race? Some anonymous sources say they can’t.

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Our local elections are governed by the election code. That is state law. A recent change to the election code, which became effective June 6, 2023, appears to make Boudreaux ineligible to run for his former seat. Louisiana Revised Statute 18:586 reads:

No elected official who has retired or resigned from state or local elective office shall be eligible as a candidate at an election called to fill the vacancy created by the retirement or resignation of the elected official.

You may recall that Boudreaux retired in August 2023, citing health reasons, resigning his position as the elected Chief of Police for the City of Youngsville. Boudreaux is ineligible since the upcoming election was called to fill the unexpired term for the vacancy created by his departure.

Others dropping like flies

Boudreaux is not the only person who has announced their candidacy for which they are not eligible. Art LeBreton, who served as Chief Deputy under former Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mike Neustrom, is also ineligible.

On June 7, 2024, LeBreton also took to Facebook with a campaign announcement. That statement read:

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In December 2022, my wife and I decided to make her hometown of Youngsville our hometown together. Many of our family members were already established residents of Youngsville, and our school-age children were already enrolled in a local charter school. We placed our existing home for sale in February 2023 and purchased a residential lot in Youngsville in April 2023 with the intent to build. Unfortunately, the real estate market was at an all-time low, and mortgage interest rates were at an all-time high, yet we were undeterred in pursuing this dream together.

As a former public servant with over thirty years of experience with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, I once again felt a calling to contribute to my future community. This led me to consider bringing my leadership experience to the City of Youngsville Police Department as their future Police Chief. The next regular election was scheduled for 2026 for a term beginning in January 2027, so I had plenty of time.

However, when the elected Chief of Police unexpectedly resigned in August 2023, time was no longer on my side. Even though my home outside of Youngsville had yet to sell, I boldly decided to rent an apartment in Youngsville and offer my service to its citizens. This decision was made after countless people urged me to enter the race for Police Chief.

Through research and consultation with other respected local officials, I believed that the law and the court would recognize that my intent was clearly established before the former Chief’s unforeseeable resignation and my interest in public safety was genuine. This was not a last-minute decision to capitalize on a vacancy within the Office of the Chief of Police.

As news of my future campaign spread, the encouragement and support I received were humbling. I have had the pleasure of meeting many community members, public leaders, civic organizations, and volunteer groups—many of whom I now consider friends! I enjoyed sharing my experience, vision for the future, and leadership style with so many and felt momentum growing.

A few wise men, with my best interest at heart, questioned my ability to qualify for the election. Even though I assured them that prior case law was in my favor, they suggested an Attorney General’s opinion regarding my ability to qualify as a candidate for Chief of Police. Though I had doubts because an AG opinion is not binding like a judgment from a court of law, I felt the need to honor their request.

As the Attorney General requires a sitting public official to submit a request for opinion, I sought the help of Louis Perret, the qualifying official for local races, to formally submit the request on my behalf. Unfortunately, the opinion does not support my candidacy. Although many factors contributed, including the preliminary work to qualify this election cycle and the unanticipated special election resulting from the prior incumbent’s resignation, I feel the need to honor and respect the opinion I sought.

Out of respect for the law and my supporters, I have decided to suspend my current campaign with an eye to the future. I will continue participating in and contributing to my community and will reevaluate my candidacy for the regular election in late 2026.

I will mail documentation to my financial contributors early next week.

Thank You to everyone who has supported and expressed interest in my campaign!

The writing was on the wall for LeBreton long before he appeared before the Youngsville City Council on August 24, 2023, and announced he would be relocating to the City of Youngsville in the upcoming days. By August 26, 2023, LeBreton had indicated that he had made Youngsville his home, renting an apartment within the City limits, removing his homestead exemption from his residence in Duson, changing his driver’s license and voter registration to reflect his residence as being in Youngsville. The issue LeBreton faced was one of timing and docmicile.

Domicile and residence are two different things

Louisiana revised statute 33:385.1 provides that “at the time of qualification as a candidate for the office of chief of police, he shall have been domiciled for at least the immediately preceding year in the municipality…”

Domicile consists of two elements: actual residence plus the intent to remain in that place. When the qualification period for candidates for the office of Chief of Police for the City of Youngsville is set to begin, LeBreton would not be capable of being domiciled in the City of Youngsville for at least the immediately preceding year.”

Another candidate flaunting with possibly running for Chief of Police is retired State Trooper John Melvin Trahan, Jr. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because he ran for the office of Marshal for the City of Lafayette in 2020. At the time of his campaign for that public office, he was domiciled at 206 Bonin Road, Lafayette, Louisiana. That is where Trahan presently lives and has resided since 1993. In another example of possible deceptive practices, on November 2, 2023, Trahan changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican and his voter registration to reflect a change in residence to 401 Détente Road, Youngsville, Louisiana.

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Trahan purchased the property at 401 Détente Road, Youngsville, Louisiana, on October 11, 2022. The property has an office building located on the premises, which Trahan uses for commercial purposes, but on or before July 17, 2023, did not have any residential structures. Then, on or about December 13, 2023, Trahan applied for a permit to move a two-story dwelling to the property in Youngsville, Louisiana. Weeks later, on January 8, 2024 Trahan removed his homestead exemption for his residence located on Bonin Drive. Then on or about March 8, 2024, a residential structure was moved to the property located at 401 Détente Road, Youngsville, Louisiana. At this time, it still appears to remain uninhabited.

Why all the interest?

Other candidates have talked about running for the office of Chief of Police. We won’t dive into the backgrounds of those individuals here, but we can assure you there are several with very questionable pasts. All of this raises one very important question—Why is the Chief of Police for the City of Youngsville such a desirable position? We suspect it has something to do with corruption being much more profitable.

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