LaFayette City Manager Frank Etheridge has chosen a new police and fire chief to replace fired public safety director Tommy Freeman.
Interim Police Chief Bengie Clift was appointed police chief and Capt. Robert Busby Jr. was appointed fire chief.
The city council unanimously approved the decision to split the two departments and agreed with the city manager to begin looking for internal candidates in its June 11 meeting.
A week later the decision was made. Both candidates have 14-plus years of experience with the public safety department and would create a smooth transition for the department, Etheridge said.
Freeman was fired in May after a flurry of allegations of mistreating employees, public tirades and skirting his responsibilities. After Etheridge gave Freeman an ultimatum, the chief was fired when he tried to punish employees for speaking out.
Joy Lukachick is a crime reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered breaking news, high-profile trials, stories of lost lives and of regained hope and done investigative work. Raised near the Bayou, Joy’s hometown is along the outskirts of Baton Rouge, La. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University. While at LSU, Joy was a staff writer for the Daily Reveille. When Joy isn't chasing down ...