Butch Browning was reinstated as the Louisiana State Fire Marshal today, following a State Police investigation which found that there is no factual evidence to support an attempt to defraud the department or public trust.
Colonel Mike Edmonson, Deputy Secretary for the Department of Public Safety, announced Friday that he asked Browning to reconsider his decision to retire and rejoin the Department.
State Police investigated the same complaints and allegations that were forwarded to the Office of the Inspector General.
The complaints were assigned to supervisors in the Internal Affairs Section, which is responsible for administrative investigations within the Department of Public Safety.
The investigations included reviewing the complaints, inspecting documents, examining departmental reports and conducting interviews.
Browning submitted his intent to retire to Colonel Edmonson on April 17 and informed the Colonel that he had been offered a job in the private sector.
“Butch and I have had several conversations since he announced his intent to retire. We discussed the opportunities afforded to him in the private sector. We have also spoken about the distractions caused by the allegations made against him and the subsequent investigations,” said Edmonson. “I reminded Butch about the successes of the Fire Marshal’s Office under his leadership over the past four years and the goals we have yet to accomplish.”
"I respect the role of the Inspector General and appreciate his efforts and partnership. As such, I assigned a trooper to assist his office with their investigation," said Edmonson.
"I take any allegations against departmental personnel or operations very seriously. That is why I directed Internal Affairs' supervisors to conduct an internal investigation and review every piece of information to determine if departmental policy was violated or if criminal activity occurred. That investigation has shown me that Butch did not abuse his power or violate the public trust.”