LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Kevin Larriviere, a former Lafayette Fire Department captain, is speaking out about his experience after being terminated and why he believes his case should be re-evaluated. 

“There comes a point where enough was enough,” he said. “I had been very hesitant about saying anything on camera. A lot of people, a lot of families, know about my stand position. I’m still exploring my options. I just don’t see any fairness throughout any of it.”

News 10 reported nine months ago about the police and fire civil service board’s decision to uphold the fire chief decision to terminate Larriviere.  

Fire Chief Robert Benoit said he violated 11 policies, including one against insubordination. 

However, Larriviere wants a second chance at his job after seeing the Civil Service Board reinstate several Lafayette Police Officers, including Bernard Anderson, who was fired for failing a drug test. The board overturned a vote of 3-1 in Feb. 2022. 

Wayne Griffin, a sergeant, became interim police chief but was fired for sexual harassment and lying to investigators. He was reinstated by a vote of 3-2 in Oct. 2022 and, moreover allowed to take the police lieutenant exam in Nov. 2022. 

Lastly, Pablo Estrada was fired after a video showed him shoving and punching a man in handcuffs. He was reinstated last week. 

“It’s the fact that the three officers that had just been reinstated, and we all know, and we all know, why they did far worse than I did,” he said. “I don’t see you seeing any fairness anymore throughout what has happened.” 

“I will wake up in the morning, and I realize I still have to tell myself that I’m not going to work over the city, and I’m not going back to work as a captain,” Larriviere said.

During the pandemic and high COVID-19 death rates across the country and in Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards put in a mask mandate that was not lifted until October 2021.

During this time, Larriviere said the masks and rules were jumping all over the place making it difficult to follow. 

“During the quote-unquote, mask mandate was that you walk in into the building and you’re standing up you have to wear a mask,” he said. “As soon as you sit down in your chair, you’re free to take the mask off, basically the whole thing I saw was that if this wasn’t working the first ten times, they did it. It’s not going to work the next ten times, and it was one of those days of absolute frustration that I had, and I was done.

“The 22 years I had got pretty much cut short out of something that nobody can make up their mind on.”

Larriviere explains he was going through a lot during the time and the training session was the breaking point of everything. 

“I was finally done, and I said look, I can’t wear this mask anymore,” he said. “That piled on with that accident that I had. Pile on with the kids that I had been seeing out on the playground. People were traveling around masked by themselves in their cars. All of that plus the amount of time that had gone on leading up to that point with the mandates. It was the straw that finally broke the camel’s back that day.” 

Larriviere said he respectfully declined to wear a mask based on religious and medical reasons.

“Even if I would have sent in a letter or a memo, up through the chain of command, explaining my position on all things the whole thing,” he said. “I would have gotten the same response anyway. The mandate is still going on. As long as it was still going on, everybody got to wear a mask.

However, for him, he “absolutely had enough of the mask.”

“I would love to have my position back after I’ve seen through all this,” Larriviere said. “I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask that I get my job back as a captain, being on the fire department and serving out the citizens of the community that have had the absolute best privilege in the world of doing for the past 20-some years of my life.”

Mickey Brousard, the fire captain and board chairperson, said Larriviere could appeal to the district courthouse.