New details on Kountze city council member charged with felony

Kountze city councilman Ira Braneff turned himself in Sunday morning after facing allegations from the mother of a teenager killed in a January car accident.

The councilman is accused with pocketing more than $3,000 earmarked for the headstone of Kountze high school senior Keiron Edwards.

According to the city attorney's office, Braneff could be allowed to continue to serve as a council member until he is found guilty. However, Kountze city manager Roderick Hutto said whether Braneff will be allowed stay is still being discussed.

Braneff was working for Broussard's Mortuary at the time of the allegations. 12News also learned he's worked at a funeral home in Silsbee and Vidor in the past.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Braneff owns "Big Thicket Memorials" but confessed to putting the headstone money in his own personal account.

Calls to Braneff's attorney Gary Butler were not returned.

The Kountze city council meeting is scheduled for Thursday July 17.


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