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INVESTIGATIVE UNIT: Plaquemine police chief resigns after taking plea deal in malfeasance case
PLAQUEMINE - Police Chief Kenny Payne, who was indicted and arrested just last week, has pleaded no contest to multiple charges in his malfeasance case and submitted his resignation this afternoon.
"I made it emphatic that he resign today both with the secretary of state and the mayor's office," District Attorney Tony Clayton said. "He has several days to get his personal belongings and stuff in storage and his office and can't have contact with any employees in there."
Payne was convicted Monday, just a week after he was formally charged amid accusations from multiple women alleging he tried to trade favors for sex.
His three-year prison sentence was suspended, and he was placed on a one-year bench probation
The WBRZ Investigative Unit has been reporting on those allegations for months, and one of his accusers said Payne tried to ask her for a sexual favor in exchange for getting her boyfriend out of jail.
"He said, 'I know you are willing to do anything to get him out,'" she explained. "He took a sticky note off the lady's desk. It was a big pack, and he wrote 'will you give me a B.J. to get him out of trouble?' He took it and did this and showed it to me."
In court, that woman gave a victim impact statement.
"I am so glad I could keep you from doing this to anyone else," she told Payne.
Payne initially denied the claims, and he took on a defiant tone when asked why he has not been seen around his office much since the criminal case surfaced.
"I am the chief, and I do chief things on a daily basis," Payne said. "No one says I have to sit in that office. I am elected and set my own schedule. When the end of my term comes and the people don't think I've done the job, they have a way to get me out of office, and that's by voting me out."
State law says a convicted felon cannot hold an elected office. Payne also lost his P.O.S.T certification as part of his conviction. That certification is required for most law enforcement entities.
The Mayor and the Board of Selectmen have 20 days to name a replacement.
Payne earned $84,427, plus a car allowance and state supplemental pay. In court, it was learned that he intends to move out of state.
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