Friday, January 28, 2011

Mike McConnell: Why I'm running for Bossier Sheriff

Greetings my fellow Bossier Parish Citizens,

My name is Mike McConnell and I am running for Sheriff of Bossier Parish. I have over 20 years of Law Enforcement experience which includes patrol, two different Street Crimes Units and six years working as a Robbery/Homicide Detective.
I resigned from the Shreveport Police Department to pursue employment with the Bossier Sheriff’s Office where I patrolled the Benton, Haughton and Plain Dealing areas of the Parish. During this time, I began teaching Criminal Justice at Remington College in the mornings on my off time.
What makes me qualified to run for Sheriff of Bossier Parish is that I have the knowledge and the experience, dealing with crime and criminals, to lead this parish in the 21st century. I have what it takes to protect our city, towns and parish for all who live, shop, eat and visit here.
During my employment with the Bossier Sheriff’s Office, I observed things that were dishonest and illegal. One of the things that I did not agree with then, nor do I now, is the treatment of the Sheriff’s employees. Sheriff Deen has said that his employees are salaried and that is why he does not pay overtime. This statement is absolutely false. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Department of Labor (DOL), the law states, “Exemptions do not apply to police officers (sheriff’s deputies), firefighters, paramedics, and other public safety personnel (so-called “First Responders”).
In other words, “Exemptions” means that they are exempt from being salary employees due to the high propensity to work overtime.
“Those earning at least $100,000.00 a year will be exempt from overtime pay if they “customarily and regularly” perform at least one of the duties of an executive, administrative, or professional employee.”
Sheriff Larry Deen’s staff that makes over $100,000.00 is not exempt and is not eligible for overtime pay, thus they are salary. The only reason he has not been sued for overtime pay is because he is an “at will” employer, which means, Sheriff Deen can terminate an employee without reason.
Larry Deen is breaking the law and if you break the law, you cannot enforce the law!
Sheriff Deen robs his “low on the totem pole” employees and lavishes his upper management staff with extravagant and lavished salaries to the expense of the taxpaying citizens of this parish.
In the January 14-20, 2011 “Inquisitor”, it shows the top 200 salaries for the Bossier Sheriff’s office. On the first page of the salaries, the seventh line from the top, reads:
“N. Gregorczyk - Lt. Colonel - $114,834.15”
This shows the depth of the untruthfulness and deceit that runs through the veins of the Bossier Sheriff’s office with Sheriff Larry Deen in command. “Lt. Colonel N. Gregorczyk” is “Nita Gregorczyk” who is Sheriff Deen’s “personal secretary.” Sheriff Deen has disguised her true position in the department, from taxpayers, by giving her rank status. I know Mrs. Nita personally and know that she is a very kind and sweet woman and it is unfortunate that she is caught in the middle of this situation.
These are hard times and the citizens of this parish are struggling to keep their families fed due to unemployment, inflation and now even higher prices at the gas pumps. Sheriff Deen had the opportunity to ease some of the burden from the citizens of this parish by reducing property taxes and he did not. Sheriff Deen decided once again to be deceitful by attempting to pull the wool over the eyes of the citizens of this parish. By law, Sheriff Deen had to hold a public meeting for citizens to address the tax. He decided to stack the deck in his favor by holding the meeting in a small office instead of a venue that could hold a large crowd. He also stacked the deck by only allowing 15 minutes of citizen response, citing that a non-existent Louisiana Statute limited the duration, most of which was allotted to his cronies.
The operating budget for the Bossier Sheriff’s Office more than doubled itself in six years from $15 million in 2004 to over $35 million in 2009. As sheriff, my commitment to the citizens of Bossier Parish is to reduce the wasteful spending of the sheriff’s office and make all transactions transparent for all to see. Under my leadership, this sheriff’s office will once again be accountable to the people it serves.
This is my pledge.
To all the hard working citizens of Bossier Parish, stay Safe.

Mike McConnell

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Meth in salt shaker at Webster Parish prison?

Two inmates died within a week at Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center in Webster Parish, one 43 years old and the other 50 years old.
The Times is reporting that the autopsy said that it was natural causes, that both men had a heart attack.
The Times quotes Webster Parish Sheriff Gary Sexton as saying "The doctor said it was natural causes. … It was just coincidence that we lost two in such a short period of time," Sexton said. "They didn’t know they had bad hearts. They were not under treatment. One had suffered a heart attack two days earlier and didn’t know it."
He added, "I guess you could say we’re relieved, not that got two men are dead, but that nothing happened inside the facility that added to or caused their heart attacks."
Not so fast.
KTBS is reporting today that a substance believed to be methamphetamine was found in a salt shaker, during a search of the facility. It has been sent to the crime lab for analysis. The story doesn’t say where the salt shaker was found, but if it was in a public area that the two men had access to, it could have contributed.
Speed kills, as they say.
It may very well all be coincidence; hopefully a full investigation will reveal the truth.

Why the City Council special election must wait until October

Several people have asked me why the special election for Bossier City Councilman couldn't be held in the election on April 2nd.  Here is the law regarding that.
RS 18:402
E. Special elections to fill newly created office or vacancy in office. An election to fill a newly created office or vacancy in an existing office, except the office of state legislator or representative in congress, shall be held on the dates fixed by the appropriate authority in the proclamation ordering a special election as follows:
(1) A special primary election shall be held on the first of the following days that is not less than eleven weeks after the date on which the proclamation calling the special primary election was issued:
(a) The second to last Saturday in October, when the special general election is held on the fourth Saturday after the second to last Saturday in October.
(b) The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, when the special general election is held on the first Saturday in December.
(c) The first Saturday in April, when the special general election is held on the fourth Saturday after the first Saturday in April or on the second or third Saturday in February during the presidential election year, if the statewide presidential preference primary election is scheduled on the second or third Saturday in February of the presidential election year; however, commencing in 1986 and every fourth year thereafter, this date shall not be applicable in a parish containing a municipality with a population of four hundred seventy-five thousand or more.
(d) The third Saturday in October, when the special general election is held on the fourth Saturday after the third Saturday in October of 1985 and every fourth year thereafter.
(e) The first Saturday in February of an election year for parish and municipal officers in a parish containing a municipality with a population of four hundred seventy-five thousand or more.
(2) A special general election shall be held on one of the following days:
(a) The fourth Saturday after the second to last Saturday in October of 1983 and every fourth year thereafter.
(b) The first Saturday in December of even-numbered years.
(c) The fourth Saturday after the first Saturday in April of any year unless the primary election is held on the second or third Saturday in February; in such case the general election shall be held on the fourth Saturday after the second or third Saturday in February, as the case may be; however commencing in 1986 and every fourth year thereafter, this date shall not be applicable in a parish containing a municipality with a population of four hundred seventy-five thousand or more.
(d) The fourth Saturday after the third Saturday in October of 1985 and every fourth year thereafter.
(e) The fourth Saturday after the first Saturday in February in a parish containing a municipality with a population of four hundred seventy-five thousand or more, when the special primary election in such parish and municipality is held on the first Saturday in February of an election year for parish and municipal officers.
(3) The secretary of state shall not include the name of any candidate on any ballot for a special election to fill a vacancy in any office to which this Subsection is applicable unless such special election has been called in accordance with the provisions of this Subsection and scheduled on one of the dates provided herein. Any elector who is eligible to vote in any such special election may apply for injunctive relief to prohibit the placing of the name of any candidate in an improperly called election on the ballot. Venue for such application shall be in any parish in which the election is called, and the secretary of state shall be the proper party defendant.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Council hopefuls pulling the strings

A lot of politicking is going on in Bossier City right now, and it’s not all for City Marshal. Although that is the only election scheduled in the early part of this year, it’s not the only position that is available for the taking.
The District 5 council seat currently held by James ‘Chubby’ Knight will be vacated on March 31st and a successor to Knight will be appointed to the council until an election can be held, which will be in October. People who are interested in the position have been asked to submit resumes for the council to consider.
I already speculated that, in my opinion, one of two former council members will be appointed. First, Larry Hanisee, who served previously on the council and was narrowly defeated by Knight for the seat in the last election, has submitted his resume.
Dr. James Rogers, who filled the position prior to Knight’s election, has also been mentioned. He has not turned in a resume.
Businessman Tommy Harvey, who has owned the UPS store on Airline Drive since 2008, also wants to be considered for the position.
Another candidate is longtime Police Chief Mike Halphen, who indicated last year when he retired that he was going to consider an elective office.
Educator Elliott Knowles, former director of the Rutherford House, also has submitted a resume.
Marsha McAllister, who ran for the at-large city council seat against incumbents David Montgomery, Jr. and Tim Larkin, has announced that she will run for the seat in October. She came in at 20% of the citywide vote for the position, which wasn’t bad for a first run, particularly in a citywide election. So far, she has not turned in a resume but I wouldn’t be surprised if she does.
Anything could happen in the next couple of months, but at this early point in the process I am hearing that Hanisee is already the front runner.
Time will tell.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Charges against Catherine Lowe upgraded to 1st Degree Murder

Catherine Lowe, the stepmother Celeste Lowe, the five year old who died last week, has been charged with 1st Degree Murder in the death of the child.
Lowe and the child's father, Wesley Lowe, were both charges last week with Negligent Homicide.  The child had been gravely ill overnight and the father and stepmother refused to seek medical attention.  When they finally took her to Willis Knighton Pierremont, she was already dead.
Bossier Parish Sheriff's investigators have determined that Catherine Lowe was with Celeste during the time the injuries occurred last Wednesday afternoon..  They have verified that Wesley Lowe was at work during that time period.
Wesley Lowe is still charged with Negligent Homicide.

Bossier City council meeting to call for election to replace Knight

The Bossier City council is expected to call for an election to replace James "Chubby" Knight, who has resigned effective March 31st.
The election will be held this fall with the other scheduled elections.
As soon as the seat is vacated on March 31st, the council will appoint a replacement to fill in until the election.
Although the council will be taking resumes for the position, it appears in reality that two names are coming up in discussion.
First, Dr. James Rogers, who held the seat until he retired and Knight was elected will likely be favored by  Don Williams and Jeff Darby.
Larry Hanisee, who lost the race to Knight, is also in the running.  Knight won the race with 557 votes to Hanisee's 507.
I am told that Dr. Rogers has agreed to serve until October if asked by the council. 
Hanisee, whether chosen or not, will probably run for the seat in October and would be in a good position to win in either case.
In the meantime, we will be doing some posting on the City Marshal's race which is coming up on April 2nd.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Investigation into death of 5 year old focusing on stepmother

Bossier DA Schuyler Marvin said that today that the investigation into the death of 5 year old Celeste Lowe is focused on Catherine Lowe, the child's stepmother.
Marvin told KTBS news that "A lot of the focus of the investigation at this point is aimed at the step-mother."  The child was in the care of Catherine Lowe from the time she got out of kindergarten last Wednesday and during the time that she apparently sustained the injuries.  Sheriff's investigators have verified that Wesley Lowe was at work during that period.

Rollin' with the Big Dawgs

First Buddy Roemer and now Scott Tubbs. Buddy said he was considering running for president, Tubbs says that he is.
There is a little difference in the two individuals, however. Roemer is a former governor of Louisiana and is pretty well known in Republican circles. That’s not to say that he could be successful, but who knows?
Tubbs, on the other hand, currently owns a used appliance store in Bossier City. He has a checkered background, including that pesky conviction for arson.
He does like to roll like a big dawg though, as witnessed by this video he put up on his YouTube page a couple of months ago. He also has a website.
KTBS also has a story about his announcement.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Carl Wayne Richard announces candidacy for City Marshal

Carl Wayne Richard, Bossier City native and Shreveport Deputy City Marshal, announces his candidacy for the office of Bossier City Marshal.
Richard has served as a deputy city marshal for Bossier City and Shreveport since 1992.
With nearly two decades of law enforcement experience and his day-to-day working knowledge of the City Marshal’s office, Richard feels he is the only qualified candidate for the job.
“I have spent my entire career as a deputy city marshal,” said Richard. “No other candidate in this race has that experience. I love the Marshal’s office, I respect the important service it provides to the court and the citizens of Bossier City, and I will work night and day to make it the best.”
Richard promises to do “more with less” and to continue the highest level of professionalism the community expects from the City Marshal’s office. Under his leadership, Richard pledges that the Marshal’s budget will be reduced and its commitment to the community increased.
“I pledge to execute the orders of the court in a timely fashion, with respect for the court and for the citizens it serves,” added Richard. “I plan to increase the community involvement of the City Marshal’s office by maintaining a positive presence in the schools and businesses while remaining fiscally responsible and reducing the Marshal’s budget. I will provide more continuing education and in-service training opportunities within the City Marshal’s office to ensure that our deputies meet the highest standard for you, the citizens of Bossier City.”
The Bossier City Marshal election will be held Saturday, April 2.

Chubbygate: The Conclusion

Channel 3 is running the story that Bossier City Councilman James "Chubby" Knight is resigning, and in return the DA wil not prosecute.
Bossier City Councilman James "Chubby" Knight will resign and criminal charges against him will be dismissed under an agreement between Knight and the district attorney, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Knight's resignation will be effective March 31.
Knight's lawyer, Joel Pearce, said the district attorney's office has agreed to drop bank fraud charges that allege Knight, 60, cashed a counterfeit sweepstakes check last year knowing it was worthless and also cashed two fraudulent money orders he had received in a "secret shoppers" scam.
Complete story here
Pearce had told The Times at the time of the arrest that "This is all driven by the Bossier power bosses . . . . that machine wants you to know if you cross it, ... it will erase you, even your memory."
He must have forgotten.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cheek to Cheek

Sometime in the mid-80's I got a Taco tape from my son.  "Dad, you'll like his music."  He was right, I did - and still do.  Born in Indonesia, he currently lives in Germany.  At age 55 he's still going strong.
Although his biggest hit in the U.S. was Puttin' on the Ritz, I decided to give you the old Fred Astaire favorite, Cheek to Cheek.

Born on July 21, 1955 in Djakarta/Indonesia, Taco spent his childhood in the Netherlands, U.S.A., Singapore, Luxembourg, Belgium and Germany, visited everywhere the "International Schools Of America" and graduated 1973. Studied interior decoration and finished acting school in Hamburg!
Lead roles in numerous school productions: "You're A Good Man Charly Brown", "Carousell", "The Fantasticks", "Fiddler On The Roof", etc.
Read the complete biography on his official YouTube channel.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Wesley Lowe had Protective Orders against child's mother

Wesley Lowe

Catherine Lowe
UPDATED: 2PM - Bossier Undersheriff Doyle Dempsey says 'likely' that charges against Lowes will be upgraded. Dr. Chandler says that child could have been saved with timely treatment. Father didn't want to seek help because he had been charged with abuse in Nebraska in 2008 and didn't want that to come out.

On September 29th of 2010 Wesley Lowe filed for protective orders, on behalf of the child, against the child’s mother, alleging that the mother had temporarily given up her rights to the child until an investigation into alleged abuse was completed.
Lowe has been arrested for negligent homicide of the child, as well as for possession of drugs.
Lowe stated that the mother, although told by Child Protective Services not to have contact with the child, showed up at the child’s school in Bossier wanting to know why she wasn’t there, and then went to BCPD in an attempt to get the child.
The Protective Order was granted effective until October 26th and then extended until November 16th and then again until January 4th, 2011 and finally until January 25th.
On December 22nd, the mother filed for contempt of court against Lowe, stating that he had not allowed the court approved supervised visitation at Louisiana Boardwalk. A hearing on this motion was set for January 25th.
And now the child is dead and the father has been charged with negligent homicide, as well as possession of Schedule II and Schedule IV CDS. It appears that the system was doing its best to protect the child, acting on the information at hand.
The information at hand, of course, did not include the fact that the father had drugs in his home. A lot more will be developing in this case and we will post information as it becomes available.

Two arrested in death of 5 year old

The Bossier Press Tribune is reporting that two people have been arrested in the death of a five year old Elm Grove girl.
Wesley Lowe, white male, 32 of 52 Sunset Villa, Elm Grove and Catherine Lowe, white female, 34 of 52 Sunset Villa remain in the custody of BSO following the death of the five-year-old child Thursday at 9:25 a.m.
The BSO booked Wesley Lowe and Catherine Lowe yesterday for charges of negligent homicide, possession of a controlled dangerous substance schedule II and possession of a controlled dangerous substance schedule IV.
Read More

Sammy Wyatt: I love Bossier City!

Sam Wyatt held his formal announcement for the office of City Marshal on Wednesday.  Here are excerpts dealing with his experience and qualifications.

While on the Bossier City Police Department, I continued to pursue (a) higher level of education to prepare myself for the future by obtaining an Associate of Criminal Justice Degree at Bossier Parish Community College in August 2002, a Bachelor of Criminal Justice Degree at Louisiana State University at Shreveport in December 2003, and Master of Business Administration Degree (M.B.A.) at Centenary College of Louisiana in May 2008.

In 1992 I started my law enforcement career at the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office after serving in the U.S. Navy. In 1993 I had the honor of joining the Bossier City Police Department, which is one of the proudest moments of my life. During my career with the police department, I served in several different divisions / units including S.W.A.T., Patrol, Special Investigations, Crime Stoppers, and Criminal Investigations. I also served as the supervisor over the Vice Unit, Crime Stoppers, DWI Task Force, and Evening Patrol Shift. While assigned to Criminal Investigations Division, I served almost 9 years as an investigator in the Juvenile Unit investigating 1311 cases of crimes against children such as homicide, physical and sexual child abuse, child neglect, child pornography, and the sexual exploitation of children. My passion has always been “protecting those who cannot protect themselves.”
During my career with the Bossier City Police Department I was honored with several awards which include the Unit Citation from the Chief of Police in 1994, 1998, 1999, and 2001; Investigator of the Year in 1999 and 2004; the Clyde “Hoppy” Pearson Award for Educational Achievement in 2002; and the Meritorious Service Award in 2002.
In 2006 I was elected to serve as a Trustee on the Municipal Police Employees Retirement System Board of Directors, a 1.6 billion dollar retirement system made up of over 10,000 retired and active police officers. In 2009, I was elected by the members of the board of directors to serve as the boards Vice President.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dempsey promoted to second-in-command at Bossier Sheriff's office

Sheriff Deen congratulates Undersheriff Dempsey
Bossier Sheriff Larry Deen on Wednesday promoted Chief Doyle Dempsey to the rank of Undersheriff.
With the promotion, Dempsey, 44, assumes the position of being the Bossier Sheriff Department’s second-in-command. The new Undersheriff was hired by Deen in March of 2004, and since that time he has steadily moved up from deputy to sergeant to lieutenant to captain to major to lieutenant colonel to chief.

“Doyle Dempsey has excelled in everything we have asked him to do,” said Deen. “I have total confidence in his ability to handle the job of Undersheriff.”
The Bossier Sheriff’s Department becomes the first agency in Louisiana to include the position of Undersheriff. The rank was created by Deen, who says Dempsey will have complete authority to run the Bossier Sheriff’s Department when Deen is away on sheriff’s department business.
“I am deeply humbled by Sheriff Deen’s decision to promote me to the rank of Undersheriff,” said Dempsey. “I am excited about what lies ahead as we seek to continue to provide around-the-clock safety for the wonderful citizens who live, work and worship in Bossier Parish.”
“Undersheriff Dempsey is a man of great integrity,” said Deen. “I have no doubt he will represent the Bossier Sheriff’s Department with honor and distinction.”
The promotion is effective immediately for Dempsey, who lives in Bossier City with his wife, Michelle, and his two daughters, Caitlin and Regan.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sheriff Deen draws first opponent in 20 years

Mike McConnell, a former Shreveport Police detective and Bossier Deputy Sheriff, has announced that he is running against Sheriff Larry Deen this year.
It will be interesting to see who (if anyone) among the current power structure comes out in support.  I don't know McConnell, but I have to agree with nearly every comment I've heard to the effect that there is no way Deen will be defeated.  It will take deep pockets to even make a credible run for the office.
Going into this election cycle, Deen has approximately $500,000 in his campaign coffers. 
Again, until we see whether or not McConnell has a power broker in his pocket and some financial resources lined up, it's hard to see a real race develop.
This is not a swipe at McConnell, just reality as I see it. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Icy Weather on the Way!


Wintry Mix Chance for Measurable Precipitation 50%
Lo 31 °F

Wintry Mix Chance for Measurable Precipitation 90%
Hi 35 °F

Snow Likely Chance for Measurable Precipitation 60%
Lo 25 °F

Slight Chance Light Snow Chance for Measurable Precipitation 20%
Slight Chc
Light Snow
Hi 35 °F

Sunday: Snow, freezing rain, and sleet, becoming all snow after noon. High near 35. East wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New ice accumulation of 0.4 to 0.6 of an inch possible. New snow and sleet accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.

Sunday Night: Snow likely, mainly before midnight. Cloudy, with a low around 25. Northeast wind between 5 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Spotted Dick

First, check out Opinonated Catholic - he has the link to an article about Buddy Roemer possibly running for president.  Really.
As for the picture, yes, this is real.  A friend put it on Facebook.  I won't give you his name because I know he would be embarassed.  On second thought, he probably won't be, he did offer it to his Facebook pals.  It was Russell Carter.  Blame him, not me.
This stuff is a real product, found it on a Heinz website.
Heinz Spotted Dick Pudding 300g, imported from England. This is a traditional British sponge pudding made with golden syrup, suet and raisins. Best served hot with custard.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Court rules in Vernon case

Judge Parker Self this week upheld the Bossier City Fire & Police Civil Service Board’s ruling of February 16, 2010, regarding the firing of Bossier City Police Officer Philip Vernon.
Just in case anyone doesn’t know the details of the case, here are the basic facts as laid out in the Judge’s opinion.
“Mr. Vernon had transported Assistant District Attorney Sherburne Sentell, who had been arrested on October 3, 2009 at the Horseshoe Casino on Domestic Battery charges. Mr. Vernon filed a supplemental report regarding the incident and an additional charge of Public Intimidation was filed against the arrestee. An internal affairs complaint was filed against Mr. Vernon based upon the conflict between the officers report and the video evidence as it relates to the transport of the arrestee in the police vehicle. The internal affairs complaint was sustained and Mr. Vernon was found to be in violation of the Department’s Code of Conduct regarding false statements and malicious prosecution. Thereafter, Mr. Vernon was terminated. Mr. Vernon appealed his termination to the Board. The Board issued a Written Finding of Fact and Decision by a four to one vote on February 16, 2010.”
“The evidence and testimony presented to the Civil Service Board established that Philip Vernon filed a report that contained false information; however, the majority of the Board felt Mr. Vernon perceived the statements made by Mr. Sherburne Sentell as threats to his employment. The Board felt there was no malicious prosecution intended. By majority vote the board finds the Appointing Authority acted in good faith and just cause but the punishment too severe and modifies the action to a ninety day suspension without pay.”
Both the city and Vernon filed suit in District Court to overturn the ruling of the Civil Service Board, Vernon because his lawyer objected to the fact that the Board, in its original meeting, had included wording that the city did not act in good faith. This was later amended to state that the city did act in good faith. The court ruled that the written finding issued February 16th (which stated that the city acted in good faith)
“is appropriate and is deemed to be the decision of the board from which these parties seek an appeal”.
The City of Bossier appealed saying that the Board only had the authority to either affirm the city’s decision or reinstate Vernon, that it did not have the authority to change the punishment.
Vernon’s lawyer had brought up the fact that the tapes of the Civil Service hearing were incomplete and of poor quality.
The court noted on this issue that
“The statute reads that 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 therefore”.
Since neither the city nor Vernon’s lawyer had arranged for transcripts, then none were made. The ruling of the board stands on its own.
The court reviewed Vernon’s incident report and the tapes from the in-car video during transport. The Judge noted that Vernon’s report contained the following in chronological order:
Line 6: transported Sentell to the Bossier City Jail
Line 7: begins ‘while in route’
Line 20: he (Sentell) then advised me (Vernon) 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.
Line 23: Upon arrival at the Bossier City Jail
The Court concluded
“While reading this narrative in context and applying a reasonable understanding to these words as would be expected by a reasonable person, the reader can draw the conclusion that the ‘intimidation’ the officers would lose their job was made during the transport to the jail while the arrestee was in the police vehicle”.
The court reviewed the tapes and agreed with internal affairs investigators that Sentell was agitated and intoxicated.
“While the Court notes that during the video Mr. Sentell requested several persons of influence be contacted; threatened to sue; informed the officers of his job duties and utilized words that would make a Sunday School teacher blush, Mr. Sentell did not threaten the officers with the loss of their jobs during his transport to jail. This directly contradicts the supplemental report filed by Mr. Vernon.”
“Of importance is the question that Mr. Vernon, during the internal affairs investigation, was asked in hindsight after listening to the tape do you still feel that Mr. Sentell was trying to threaten you with your job. Mr. Vernon’s answer was ‘hindsight, and looking at the tape, um I’d have to say no, sir’.”
“This Court, having reviewed the law and evidence does hereby affirm the findings of fact and decision by the Board issued on February 16, 2010. The appeals filed by the City of Bossier City and Philip Vernon are without merit and each appellant should bear the costs associated with its appeal.”
Philip Vernon is still an officer with BCPD, but the 90 day suspension for filing a false report stands.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rick Seaton arrested

KTBS has verified that Rick Seaton, the Shreveport Assistant CAO who was fired last week by Mayor Glover, has been arrested and charged with forcible rape.
Excerpts from the Channel 3 story:
Seaton, 43, was arrested on a warrant charging him with forcible rape. Bond was set at $150,000 and
Seaton was in the process of making it late Tuesday afternoon.
The arrest came after a review of videos from Government Plaza, interviews with the alleged victim and with people who saw Seaton and her together that night.
Authorities said the young woman, who at one point texted her mother that she was in trouble, has told detectives she thought Seaton was a police officer.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sheriff settles suit for $160,000

Robert Clay Hilman was a thirty year old deputy with the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s office at the time of his death in 2008.
A suit was filed against the Sheriff and several named deputies in 2009 by his wife, Kim Hilman, on behalf of Hilman’s two minor children. I’m not including the names of the deputies involved because it is not necessary to do so.
The suit alleged that:
• Hilman had been suffering from depression over the death of his mother, and was taking Effexor, an anti-depressant that had been prescribed.
• On January 30, 2008, a deputy was called by Hilman’s wife. The deputy called Hilman who said that ‘he was going to kill himself’ if his wife didn’t confess to an alleged affair. He also admitted that he was drinking for the first time in six weeks. The deputy did not report the suicide threats to BPSO and did not call Bossier Parish EMS to check Hilman.
• An EMS employee, who was on duty for Bossier Parish EMS, received a phone call from another BPEMS employee who was a friend of Hilman’s. According to the other EMS employee, Hilman had told her that ‘he had the house barricaded and it’s over’.
• Several deputies went to the house and observed that it was barricaded by a tractor against the front door with a chain attached between the bucket of the tractor and the front door. The back door was barricaded by a four-wheeler with the winch cable attached to the door knob. This meant that neither the front nor back door could be opened by ordinary means.
• The deputies contacted Hilman by phone and he came out through the garage to talk to them. Hilman told them that he was ‘sick’ and he had barricaded the door to keep his wife out of the house. The suit goes on to say that the deputies were aware that he was an abuser of alcohol who had been drinking. The deputies, after consulting with their superiors, decided that if ‘he would go stay with someone or have someone stay with him’ that they would leave and check on him later in the day, rather than taking him into custody or calling EMS. The deputies got a neighbor to come stay with him, but they did not mention the suicide threats. The neighbor subsequently left the home.
These were some, but not all, of the allegations detailed in the suit.
What is fact is that in the early hours of January 31, 2009, Hilman shot and killed himself with his department issued firearm.
The suit was filed by Shreveport attorney Kenneth Craig Smith, Jr.
The firm of Cook, Yancey, King and Galloway initially represented the defendants in the case, but in October of 2009 they withdrew and the firm of Tutt, Stroud & McKay took over the case.
There was no activity noted on the suit until December 23, 2010 when the plaintiffs accepted a settlement of $160,000 from the defendants; $80,000 for each child.
I take no pleasure at all in writing this, but I do feel that the people have a right to know what is going on with their elected officials, the good, the bad and the tragic.