Sorrento steps up police bid oversight

Wade McIntyre

SORRENTO – The Town Council stepped up its oversight policy regarding the Police Department requiring that vehicles seized by the department be advertised and sold by sealed bids opened during council meetings.

The motion was introduced by Councilman Milton “Needlenose” Vicknair and seconded by Councilwoman Troy Braud at the Tuesday meeting.

Some councilmen have expressed concern over the legality of bids obtained by the department.

Vehicle bids are a matter of public record, but Police Chief Earl Theriot refused to allow The Weekly Citizen to see the bids received by the department for a 2000 Honda Accord which the department advertised for sale in November of last year.

The vehicle was sold to Glenn Harrillal of Reserve, according to Braud, and The Citizen wanted to see the number and price range of the bids.

“Get a court order,” Theriot shouted in his office when The Citizen made the request after Tuesday’s meeting.

When advised that the bids were public record, Theriot repeated, “Get a court order.”

In other business during the meeting, the council revved up its preparation for the next hurricane season at the suggestion of Councilman Randy Anny.

Anny said the town needs to begin looking at how to feed at least 2,000 people for a minimum of three weeks in the aftermath of a hurricane.

He requested that Theriot find out from the National Guard how many MRE, or military ready to eat meals, would be needed by a town like Sorrento with a population of 1,600 to 2,000 people in the event of a hurricane.

The town does not want to get caught like it did during Gustav, Anny said. “We really need to be prepared.”

Anny told councilmen Braud had explored purchasing an ice machine that would cost the town $4,000 to $5,000.

With enough bottle water available, the town could then make enough ice in six to seven days for up to 1,600 people, he said.

Sorrento spent about $20,000 on ice for town and parish residents during the Gustav aftermath, Anny said.

In another matter, the council met in executive session to discuss personnel matters, and upon emergence called a special meeting March 6 at 6 p.m. to discuss a police department personnel issue.

Members also accepted an $8,500 high bid from Darryl Tullier for a backhoe which had been advertised for sale.