Officer Vernon’s report stated:
- 18. “C. Sentell refused to stop talking and he stated that he is friends with Ron Miciotto, a local attorney, and he was going to sue every officer involved.
- 19. He then advised me that he was going to see to it that officers were sued and that the officers were going to lose their jobs over this incident.
- 20. I advised C. Sentell that he could be charged for making the threats to the jobs of the Bossier City Police Officers involved in this arrest.
- 21. C. Sentell continued to curse and he continued to tell this officer to call Schuyler Marvin right now.
Reserve Officer Fisher was more specific, saying that the threat came as they were turning into the police station.
In an interview with Lt. Larry Stockton, after hearing the tape from the car, Vernon stated that it must have happened after they exited the car.
Reserve Officer Fisher did not change his statement, saying that it happened in the car.
Vernon appealed his termination to the Fire & Police Civil Service Board.
At the February hearing, according to Vernon’s lawyer, the officer was ‘shocked and dismayed’ to find that former 26th JDC Judge Cecil Campbell was the board’s attorney. Campbell currently prosecutes felony domestic abuse cases for the DA’s office. “Not surprisingly”, the lawyer continues in his brief, “the majority of rulings favored Sentell and/or the appointing authority. He went so far to say that some of the rulings were “absolutely contrary to law”.
He doesn’t bother to enumerate those adverse rulings, and indeed, the board ruled that the city had acted without just cause and changed the termination to a 90 day suspension.
A few days later the board met and changed the ruling to read that the city had acted with just cause. Board member Lt. Jimmie Stewart said that he misspoke when he made the motion and Board Chairman James Huckabay said that he misheard it.
On February 25th the City of Bossier City filed suit against Vernon and the Civil Service Board to overturn their ruling and enforce the termination.
On February 26th Vernon filed suit to overturn the decision of the Civil Service Board and for reinstatement.
The two suits were combined.
Various briefs and filings were made, among the notable claims by Vernon was that the Civil Service Board provided incomplete and spliced tape recordings and transcripts of the proceedings.
The City maintains that the ruling of the board stands on its own. The city offers state law in support.
- La. R.S. 33:2478(A)(3): The board shall not be required to have the testimony taken and transcribed, but either the employee or the appointing authority may, at their own expense, make the necessary arrangements therefor. In such cases the board shall name any competent shorthand reporter as the official reporter. If the testimony is not taken or transcribed, then the board shall make a written finding of fact.
There is an attempt by Vernon’s lawyer to make a ‘conspiracy’ case, just as he is doing in the Chubby Knight case.
Chief Halphen, Lt. Stockton, Cpl. Murray Wells and Judge Campbell all were complicit in this conspiracy against his client. By extension, Reserve Officer Fisher would be too, since at the Civil Service hearing he did not change his statement that the alleged threat was made in the car.
[Disclaimer: Nearly everyone who reads the blog knows that Officer Murray Wells is my son. Despite that fact, and despite the fact that Vernon’s lawyer has made statements to the media and in court filings that my son is not being truthful, I am trying to present this in as factual a manner as possible.]
In another brief, the lawyer waxes eloquent, describing the actions of the Bossier City Fire & Police Civil Service Board in what he says are the words of Nazi henchman and Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels.
As I stated in a previous post, Judge Parker Self will issue a ruling on the merits of the above case within the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime, Vernon has filed another suit for reinstatement and compensatory damages. The main difference in the suits is that the new one includes all attorney fees and costs.