Ascension parish sheriff faces off against stepbrother for re-election
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre is running for another term. Under his watch the parish has increased its narcotics division to help fight the growing fentanyl crisis. The parish has also been split into 3 patrol districts making it easier for deputies to know their area better.
“It certainly helps reduce response times and it makes those officers that work in those districts, they understand the businesses there, they understand the residents there, the subdivisions there, they no longer have to go from one end of the parish to the other,” said Sheriff Webre.
Webre says if there was anything he would have liked to see improve better during his first term it would be recruiting more officers, which he plans to make a top priority in his next term.
“It’s a nationwide issue so you may know we put out a recruiting video not that long ago to try to recruit more young men and women to law enforcement because we do think it’s an honorable profession,” Sheriff Webre added.
Webre’s opponent, CJ Matthew’s, served at the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office for the last 30 years serving on the crisis response team as a detective before he went on to lead the narcotics division with the DEA. But what makes this race so interesting is the two’s relationship.
“He is my stepbrother. For 25 years I can say that I never worked a day in my life because I love my job. But the last probably 4 years it got pretty testy,” said Matthews.
Matthews’ late mother married bobby Webre’s father. Matthews claims his faith in the sheriff’s office and the parish government has been shaken because of what he calls corruption. He pointed to an incident from five years ago, before Webre became sheriff, where a school resource officer was accused of having a relationship with a 16-year-old girl. Investigators say they found a photo of the girl’s breasts on the deputies phone but determined it was unsolicited, that he did not ask her to send it. The deputy later resigned.
“A 40-something year old man, notwithstanding the fact he’s a law enforcement officer and has to be held to a higher standard, has nude photos of a 16-year-old juvenile on his phone and other 68 voice calls, 746 text messages between him and the victim in less than a 30-day span...If you think that’s not a crime then we are not the same,” Webre explained.
When Webre became sheriff, he says he asked the Attorney General’s Office to investigate, and they came to the same conclusion. The evidence did not support criminal charges against the deputy.
“It was investigated, it was vetted with the District Attorney’s Office here in the 23rd, it was vetted by the state Attorney General’s Office, it was investigated by the Attorney General’s Office, it was dismissed by the FBI, and it was dismissed by the state police,” Sheriff Webre added.
Without a doubt this race between stepbrothers has gotten ugly, with still several more weeks before the election day.
“And I would never say this, but I’m glad my parents aren’t here to see this because I know it would make them upset and I would never want to do anything to make them upset,” Sheriff Webre continued.
The election is in October and early voting begins September 30th.
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