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Charles Fuselier

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Charles Auguste Fuselier, Sr.

Sheriff of St. Martin Parish, Louisiana
In office
1980–2003
Preceded by Allan B. Durand
Succeeded by Ronald J. Theriot

Born December 28, 1942
St. Martinville, Louisiana
Died March 27, 2016 (aged 73)
La Grange, Fayette County, Texas
Resting place Epiphany Columbarium in New Iberia, Louisiana
Nationality American
Political party Democrat / later Republican
Spouse(s) Lyndahl Hobgood Fuselier (born 1943)
Children Rebeccah F. Smith

Elizabeth A. Fuselier
Charles Fuselier, Jr.

Residence St. Martinville, Louisiana
Alma mater St. Martinville Senior High School
Occupation Law-enforcement officer
Religion Episcopalian

Charles Auguste Fuselier, Sr. (December 28, 1942 – March 27, 2016),[1] was from 1980 until 2003 the sheriff of St. Martin Parish, Louisiana.Known for innovations in his office, Fuselier resigned prior to the 2003 primary election for what would have otherwise been his seventh term.

Fuselier's father, Charles Joseph Fuselier (1918-1979), resigned in 1978 as the St. Martin Parish sheriff. Charles A. Fuselier was elected sheriff in 1979 and took office in the summer of 1980, after the two-year interim period of Sheriff Allan B. Durand (1919–2006). Durand had been chief deputy under the first Sheriff Fuselier and continued thereafter as first deputy under Charles A. Fuselier until Durand's retirement.[2] He was reelected in 1983 with more than 86 percent of the ballots cast.[3] In his last contested re-election in 1995, Fuselier polled more than 65 percent of the vote over three opponents.[4] He was succeeded by Ronald J. "Ronny" Theriot (born 1946), an Independent and former major with the LouisianaState Police, who assumed the office on October 16, 2003.[5][6]

In 1983, Fuselier oversaw the completion of a new jail; in 1990, the installation of a parish-wide 911 system; in 1991, the creation of a sheriff's substation, and in 1995, the construction of a facility for juveniles.In 1996, he received the "National Sheriff of the Year" award, an honor for which he expressed "shock". U.S. Representative Jimmy Hayes of Louisiana's since disbanded 7th congressional district honored Fuselier in a speech delivered on the floor of Congress. In his address, Hayes noted that Fuselier initiated a local partnership between the sheriff's office, the St. Martinville chief of police, and the American Association of Retired Persons to create the first TRIAD program in St. Martin Parish, seeks to prevent crimes against senior citizens.[7] In 1999, the St. Martin Parish sheriff's officeunder Fuselier became the first in Louisiana to receive the imprint of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.[8] He was named "Sheriff of the Year" in Louisiana by the Farm Bureau. He was a past president of the Louisiana Sheriffs' Association and a former board member of the National Sheriffs' Association. For thirty years, he was a member of the board of directors of Teche Bank.[9]

Though Fuselier's political career occurred while he was a Democrat, the office of the Louisiana Secretary of State in 2013 listed Fuselier and his wife, the former Lyndahl Hobgood (born June 1943), as Republican voters.

As a student from 1953 to 1959 at St. Martinville Senior High School, an entity of the St. Martin Parish School Board, Fuselier was active in 4-H. Thereafter, as sheriff he was heavily involved in the promotionof 4-H programs. In 1981, he established the Charles Fuselier Livestock Award, named for his father, and the subsequent Charles Fuselier Scholarship in 2002. In 2008, he was inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame, housed in a museum in Avoyelles Parish south of Alexandria.[8] Fuselier subsequently graduated c. 1964 from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, at which he was a letterman for four years on the Ragin' Cajuns football team.[9]

In 2003, Fuselier was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield. As of 2014, only four other sheriffs had received this designation, Cat Doucet, Leonard R. "Pop" Hataway, Harry Lee, and Jessel Ourso.[10]

Fuselier died at the age of seventy-three in La Grange in Fayette County, Texas. His remains are at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in New Iberia, Louisiana, where his services were held.[9]

References

  1. Charles Auguste Fuselier. Ancestry.com. Retrieved on February 22, 2019.
  2. Life Legacy: Allan B. Durand. Pellerinfuneralhome.com. Retrieved on December 8, 2013.
  3. Results for Election in St. Martin Parish. staticresults.sos.la.gov (October 22, 1983). Retrieved on December 8, 2013.
  4. Results for Election Date: 10/21/1995: St. Martin Parish. staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved on December 8, 2013.
  5. Results for Election Date: 10/4/2003: St. Martin Parish. staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved on December 8,2013.
  6. About Us: Sheriff Ronald J. Theriot. Stmartinsheriff.org. Retrieved on December 8, 2013.
  7. Honoring Sheriff Charles A. Fuselier, Sheriff of the Year. Capitolwords.org. Retrieved on December8, 2013.
  8. 8.0 8.1 A Concurrent Resolution. lanewsbureau.com. Retrieved on December 8, 2013.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Charles Fuselier obituary. Lafayette Daily Advertiser (March 30, 2016). Retrieved on February 24, 2019.
  10. Hall of Fame listing. Louisianapoliticalmuseum.com. Retrieved on February 22, 2019.