Brusly police chief pleads guilty, gets 18 months probation

Updated at 4:05 p.m. A judge sentenced Brusly Police Chief Jamie Whaley to 18 months’ supervised probation and imposed a $500 fine Thursday in a plea agreement in which Whaley pleaded guilty to malfeasance in office.

Eighteenth Judicial District Judge J. Robin Free also prohibited Whaley, 37, from seeking re-election in the upcoming special election the Town Council will have to set in the wake of Whaley’s planned resignation on April 25.

Whaley was indicted April 10 on theft and malfeasance in office for using a town-issued credit card to purchase gasoline for his personal truck and boat.

Prosecutors said in court Thursday the state was dismissing the theft charges against Whaley in lieu of his guilty plea for malfeasance.

“This conviction will allow the town of Brusly to move forward and will allow the Police Department to begin rebuilding its creditability with the public,” said Col. Richie Johnson, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office.

Whaley’s only comment after Thursday’s court proceedings was that he intends to run for police chief again in Brusly’s 2016 general elections.

Whaley surrendered to police Jan. 23 after an investigation by the state Inspector General’s Office and the FBI revealed he had used a fleet services credit card to charge $1,120 in gasoline between Jan. 2, 2013, and Jan. 3.

Whaley met with the mayor Jan. 17 and wrote a check for $1,122.75 to reimburse the city for the transactions.

The police chief admitted to authorities he had illegally used the credit card after he was shown a spreadsheet, receipts and video evidence, according to his arrest warrant.

Whaley announced Monday he was stepping down as the town’s police chief on April 25. He is serving his third term as Brusly’s elected police chief.

According to state law, the council has until May 5 to appoint a new police chief and call a special election to fill Whaley’s unexpired term.

Brusly’s elected officials are in the second year of their four-year terms. Should the council not make the appointment by May 5, the governor would be forced to name a police chief.

The next scheduled election is the Nov. 4 primary and Dec. 6 general election. Qualifying would be Aug. 20- 22.