GREENSBURG, LA (WAFB) - In the tiny town of Greensburg, trouble is brewing between the man elected to lead and the department sworn to protect.
Mayor-elect Willie Hurst was arrested Monday on charges of interfering with a law enforcement investigation, public intimidation and retaliation, and obstruction of justice for allegedly interfering with a domestic violence case.
Hurst was booked into St. Helena Parish Jail and has already been released on bond.
The case occurred in March when Tarran Love was accused of choking the mother of his child, according to the police report. An officer and the police chief responded to the scene.
According to the investigators, as they arrested Love, a bystander, Patrick Travis, began to allegedly threaten Police Chief Tim Brown by saying, "When the new mayor takes office your ass will be gone. You will not have a job with your no good ass. You just want to **** over people. I bet you $100 to a bucket of **** you will not be chief when the new mayor takes office."
Hurst allegedly did show up to the scene and talked with Travis, and sources said he asked that the suspect not be arrested. However, Louisiana law requires that suspects in domestic violence cases are arrested.
Love was arrested and charged with battery.
The incident was the subject of a report by the 9News Investigators in May. Now, investigators have officially charged Hurst and Travis.
Travis was also charged with interfering with a law enforcement investigation, public intimidation and retaliation, and obstruction of justice as well as inciting a felony and two counts of intimidation of a witness.
The news came as a surprise for many in the small town.
"It's kind of disheartening to hear that because you want public servants to really show an example," said resident Fagan Davis, Jr.
It also brought questions about the town's future. Greensburg is currently without an acting mayor.
Greensburg's current mayor, Burke Jones, recently quit. While Hurst was elected in March, he will not take office until December 1, and an interim mayor has not been appointed.
At a city alderman meeting on Tuesday, June 7, a motion to appoint Hurst as interim failed.
The issue of an interim mayor will be brought up at the next meeting. The town has until Wednesday, June 22 to select an interim mayor or one will be appointed by Gov. John Bel Edwards.
As for how the arrest could impact Hurst's future position, according to the Secretary of State's office, an elected official is only fired if convicted of a felony.