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Police break up altercation between Ascension council members at Monday meeting

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 5:06 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 19, 2021 at 10:35 AM CDT
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ASCENSION PARISH. (WAFB) - Police had to intervene between two Ascension Parish council members Monday night, October 18, at an East Ascension Gravity Drainage District meeting.

Corey Orgeron, District 4, and Joel Robert, District 2, got into some sort of argument, which resulted in Orgeron leaving his seat and approaching Robert.

This all happened one hour and thirty-seven minutes into the meeting, as seen in the council meeting video livestreamed to Youtube. The meeting was to reinstate Parish President Clint Cointment as the head of the director of drainage, after a compromise was reached.

Council members were voting on approving a contract for William Roux, LLC, as the East Ascension Drainage Liason.

Orgeron said on the phone “I regret that I let someone as simple as Joel Robert get on my nerves as much as he did.”

Orgeron said he is taking a step back from his duties as councilman for a time, but did not specify how long that would be. He is not resigning.

He said he was physically attacked last Friday, and that affected him more than he realized. Orgeron also mentioned a level of incivility and angst on the council right now.

But he added, even though him and Clint Cointment disagree a lot, they respect one another.

He said “unless we put William Roux overseeing the activities of the drainage board, it’s going to be the same old same old. We have to take politics out of drainage.” “People use digging ditches to get votes.”

He said he was already scheduled to miss this Thursday’s meeting. He does not know yet if he will be present for the November meeting.

Before the altercation took place, some members of the public were apparently ridiculing Councilman Orgeron during his public remarks.

That lead him to say, “If you guys think that your actions of holding up colorful signs and calling people names on Facebook and making all kinds of stupid pictures about people on Facebook. If you think that’s what affected the people up here, you’re highly mistaken. And your egos are writing checks your butts can’t cash because that’s not what happened here.”

Then, a member of public interrupted Orgeron. And the council member fired back at the woman.

“You can be as disrespectful as you want you, and I will respond,” said Orgeron.

Orgeron then spoke out, saying he thought the woman yelled to him something along the lines of, “I’m going to bring you down.”

He said, “Was that a threat? Was that a threat? That’s perfectly fine. I’m not going to be threatened by some old guy up here. And I’m not going to be threatened by some Facebook entrepreneur,” said Orgeron.

Orgeron then goes on to say, he’s been getting harassed by members of the public for more than three months now. And he urged members of the public, that if they had frustrations, to take those to the voting booth and not on Facebook.

“But don’t think for one second, that your stupidity is affecting...” said Orgeron.

That’s when councilman Joel Robert said ‘shut up’ to Orgeron. Orgeron looks back at Robert and points his pencil, then gets up out his seat and says, “What? I am not shutting up.”

Orgeron looks back at Robert and points his pencil, then gets up out his seat and says, “What? I am not shutting up.”

Two police officers rush over to break up the argument between Orgeron and Robert, before it gets physical.

The drainage board then goes into recess.

Councilman Robert gave WAFB a statement which says, “The great people of our parish deserve better. I will never condone name calling, bullying, and intimidation of anyone. Much less an elected representative toward a concerned citizen. As for Corey’s display of aggression toward me, it was welcomed over his attack of an innocent citizen.”

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