ST. MARTINVILLE, La. (KLFY) — St. Martinville Police report that they have arrested a city councilman on charges of interfering with an investigation.
Edmond Joseph faces charges of obstruction of justice, accessory after the fact, and abuse of power, according to the police department. Joseph represents the 5th district in St. Martinville.
“During the investigation, it was learned that Joseph used his position as a council member to obtain information about the investigation, then called the suspect’s mother and advised her the police department had warrants for the suspect,” stated a press release from the St. Martinville Police Department. “The suspect then fled the area with obvious intent to evade arrest.”
Police Chief Ricky Martin says the suspect was Joseph’s nephew.
“I am not going to tolerate people releasing information, whether it’s one of my employees, a city employee, I don’t care who it is. If they release information that hinders our investigation, I’m going to put them in jail,” Chief Martin said.
“The problem is if you take that information and take that information and call the suspect to help them flee from police, that’s where we come into a problem,” he added.
The chief says police are already concerned about an uptick in crime in St. Martinville. He says the problem is that people don’t want to talk to the police because they fear their name will be released.
He says this situation isn’t helping.
“This goes totally, 100% against what we’re trying to accomplish. We’re trying to get people to call to give us information about crime in our city, but we have a city councilman that’s calling people and helping them flee. It baffles me on why that would happen,” Chief Martin Told News Ten.
City councilman Edmond Joseph was arrested Friday morning, but police say they are still searching for his nephew.