Last week we reported that Sulphur's Police Chief was demoted and suspended and last night the Mayor of Sulphur along with the City Council met and appointed a Provisional Police Chief.

Mel Estess

Sulphur, La. —

At a special Sulphur City Council meet­ing Monday night, council members unani­mously voted to appoint Earnest Mel Est­ess as Chief of Police for the City of Sul­phur as a “Provisional Appointment” effec­tive at 3:01 p.m., May 28, 2011. Estess is currently the Sulphur Police Department Professional Standards and Public Infor­mation Officer, a position he has held since July 2006.

The provisional appointment of Estess comes as a result of former Sulphur Chief of Police Chris Abrahams being suspended, with pay, for 15 calendar days effective May 13, 2011 for alleged violation of civil statute in regards to the filling of positions within the department. He has also been demoted to the rank of captain. Abrahams has the right to appeal within that 15 day period, which ends on May 28. No formal notifica­tion of an appeal has been received by the parties involved - Mayor Chris Duncan and the Sulphur Municipal Fire and Civil Ser­vice Board.

Council member Stu­art Moss questioned the placement of a provi­sional Chief of Police when Assistant Chief of Police Billy Craddock was already Acting Chief.

“Billy Craddock right now is a move up, he is not a temporary ap­pointment,” said Dun­can. “Technically we do have a Chief on the pay­roll, and that is Mr. Abrahams. He’s out un­til the date of the 15 days. So in that time, Billy Craddock is a move up. When the Chief is on vacation or sick, Billy moves up as the Acting Chief. And that’s what is in place right now. But the provisional appoint­ment is the actual tem­porary appointment to the Chief of Police’s posi­tion. We felt like we did­n’t want to put anybody in that position who is actually going to take the test for Chief of Po­lice. We feel like Billy is going to take the [Civil Service] exam for Chief, so that’s the reason we are asking for somebody neutral in that position.”

In reference to his ap­pointment Estess com­mented, “I take it as an honor that you trust me enough, that the Mayor trusts me enough, to be of service to the commu­nity. I have requested, though, that administra­tion hurry this up, don’t drag your feet, let’s get it done quick. I’m in hopes that the Council would appreciate me. I think I would do you a good job.” Duncan said the tem­porary position is for a period of 90 days and could be extended to 180 if necessary.

Do you live in Sulphur and if you do, what do you think of all of this???

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