County has no control over VFD

Published 10:08 am Thursday, July 16, 2015

A local volunteer firefighter who was reinstated in June after a suspension in 2008 for soliciting minors over the Internet remains a member of the Bogue Chitto Volunteer Fire Department.

When he was reinstated June 1, the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors addressed community concerns, saying they would look into the issue. County officials consulted with county attorney Bob Allen on what, if anything, could or would be done.

Allen said Wednesday the volunteer fire departments are private, non-profit organizations and the only aspect of them under county control is rebates from the Fire Marshal’s Office. Allen said the county has no control over the VFDs.

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Clifford Galey, Lincoln County Fire Coordinator, said to his knowledge Brad Mercier has been a member with the Bogue Chitto VFD since he was voted back in and reinstated in early June. There is nothing illegal about the employment of a registered sex offender as a public servant, Galey said when Mercier was reinstated.

The authority over Lincoln County volunteer fire service lies within the collective group of VFDs.

Mercier was convicted in March 2014 of two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile, after soliciting a Kenner, Louisiana Police Department detective who was posing as an underage girl in a chat room.