Arcola Police Chief David Rougeau on administrative leave after officer he fired accuses him of retaliation, boss says

ARCOLA, Texas (KTRK) — After less than six months in office, Arcola Police Chief David Rougeau was placed on administrative leave.

Rougeau told ABC13 it stemmed from allegations by an officer he fired.

Former Arcola police officer Lisa Stepney said Rougeau fired her on August 1.

“I believed him. I trusted him. I gave up my vigilance and he made me this way and I want to know why. And you are a pastor? That (hurts) me,” Stepney said.

Rougeau said Stepney was fired because of her job performance.

“Within the limits of procedure, policy and protocol, I made what I felt was the best decision on behalf of the Arcola Police Department and the City of Arcola to end it,” Rougeau said.

Rougeau said he was placed on administrative leave hours after Stepney was fired.

“From what I’ve gathered, this was her story. Any time she’s involved in something because of her own choices, she tries to maneuver her way out by deflecting it onto someone else,” Rougeau said.

The acting chief of police confirmed that Rougeau is on administrative leave and an investigation is ongoing. However, he declined to say why he was put on leave or who is leading the investigation.

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

“I just froze and he just started making it a hostile environment. I hated coming to work. I was afraid to tell anyone because they would fire me,” Stepney said.

As for the reason for her firing, Rougeau said it was based solely on her performance, citing in her resignation documents that she had previously received multiple written warnings for violating department policies.

Stepney admits she made some mistakes but said her firing was more than that. She said it was vengeance.

“I felt like he picked all that stuff out. How I (he said) went into videos (and) tried everything (that he could find) to judge me. to put up this paper. All of this (doesn’t) even make sense,” Stepney said.

Discussions, considerations and possible actions regarding the Rougeau assessment are on the agenda for Tuesday’s Council meeting.

“I’ve been in public service for 40 years, and in those four decades I’ve never been associated with anything like this,” Rougeau said.

Stepney said she plans to attend the council meeting to ask for her job back and explain why she believes she was wrongfully terminated. She said she didn’t think Rougeau should be in charge of the department.

“He (was) only here on February 8th, then here is August 1st. Didn’t last that long? Something is wrong with this picture. (You are) not the man you say you are,” Stepney said.

Arcola Mayor Fred Burton said he has not commented on the situation as the investigation is ongoing.

For more updates, follow Courtney Carpenter on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved. Arcola Police Chief David Rougeau on administrative leave after officer he fired accuses him of retaliation, boss says

Dais Johnston

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