Only on 13: Arcola PD chief resigns after officer whom he fired accuses him of retaliation

Courtney Carpenter Image
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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A showdown may be underway between the Arcola police chief and a former officer whom he terminated.

ARCOLA, Texas (KTRK) -- Arcola Police Chief David Rougeau submitted his resignation late Tuesday night, he confirmed exclusively to ABC13. This comes after he was placed on administrative leave for allegations brought by an officer he fired, according to the now-former chief.

Rougeau had only been on the job for less than six months. He told us his resignation was accepted at last night's city council meeting.

The video above is from a previous story.

We reached out to Arcola Mayor Fred Burton for comment on the resignation. He responded with the following statement:

"Please know, during Executive Session, City Council requested the presence of Mr. Rougeau. He entered the chamber and immediately submitted his resignation in writing. His resignation letter was already prepared prior to the meeting and City Council accepted it."

Former Arcola Police Officer Lisa Stepney said Rougeau fired her on Aug. 1.

"I believed him. I trusted him. I let my guard down, and he did me like that, and I want to know why. And you are a pastor? That (hurt) me," Stepney said in a previous interview.

Rougeau said Stepney was fired based on her work performance.

"Under procedure, policy, and protocol, I made the decision I felt was best on behalf of the Arcola Police Department and the city of Arcola in terminating her," Rougeau said.

He was placed on administrative leave a few hours after firing Stepney.

"From what I've gathered, this has been her history. Every time she finds herself involved in something due to her own decisions, she tries to maneuver her way out by deflecting it on someone else," Rougeau said.

Stepney is making claims of her own. She said the information she learned about Rougeau is why he exaggerated his allegations against her.

"I just froze up, and he just started making it a hostile environment. I hated to come to work. I was scared to tell somebody because he was going to fire me," Stepney said.

As for why she was fired, Rougeau said it was only based on her performance, citing in her termination papers that she had several previous written warnings for breaking department policies.

Stepney admits she has made some mistakes but said her getting fired was more than that. She said it was retaliation.

READ ORIGINAL STORY: Arcola PD chief on administrative leave after fired officer accuses him of retaliation, chief says

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