SPRINGFIELD, La (FOX44) — Most people who live in the small town of Springfield know Mayor Charles Martin pretty well. That's why so many folks were shocked to learn that he, and his police chief, Jimmy Jones, were arrested last night.
According to the affidavit for their arrests, Martin used his position of power to cover up a DWI charge for a close family friend. Reports show that the woman's blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit when she was pulled over back in April, but the officer who made the arrest says Martin and Chief Jones conspired to knock her DWI charge down to a Reckless Operation ticket.
"Who hasn't gotten a ticket fixed in their lifetime?" asks resident Jewel "Spud" Millet. "They're just trying to help small town people out."
"I think it's a big misunderstanding," adds Jules Navarre.
Many residents we talked to stood behind their officials. "I think they're making a really, really big situation out of nothing here," says Ernest Navarre.
"Gosh, if Charlie ran tomorrow again for mayor, I'd vote for him," agrees Millet.
But not everyone thinks those town leaders should be pardoned. Some say, justice needs to be served no matter what.
"If I broke the law, they'd definitely send me to jail or to court," says Brad Boudreaux. "Why is he any different? He's a civilian, just like me."
The case will now be handed over to District Attorney Scott Perrilloux for prosecution. NBC33 went to the mayor's office today and talked to him in person. He said his attorney advised him not to talk about the case.