Day 1 of fired police chief's hearing ends with no decision
DENHAM SPRINGS - Day 1 of an appeals hearing for the former Denham Springs Police chief who was fired last month ended without a decision.
Scott Jones and Captain Steve Kistler were fired in April at a special council meeting. The pair were accused of mishandling a domestic violence involving Denham Springs Councilman Chris Davis.
That occured January 15th at Davis' home. Both he and his wife have since said what occurred was an accident and misunderstanding.
Documents obtained by The Investigative Unit show the next day, Denham Springs Mayor Gerard Landry told the chief to execute Davis' warrant to the letter of the law, which meant an arrest. But two days after that, Jones issued Davis a misdemeanor summons. In February Jones and Kistler were placed on leave, then fired in April.
First, Jones' attorney argued the mayor's investigation took 75 days, longer than the 60 day limit set in place by law, but that motion was dismissed.
Hulett: investigation begins when there is an eye to disciplinary action, Feb 17.— Brittany Weiss WBRZ (@MsBWeiss) May 24, 2016
Jones' attorney also argued City Attorney Stephanie Hulett should be disqualified from counsel, but that motion was denied, as well.
Chairwoman makes motion to deny counsel's request to remove Hulett. Passes.— Brittany Weiss WBRZ (@MsBWeiss) May 25, 2016
The judge sequestered the 20 witnesses. But the councilman who's at the center of the situation and his wife aren't among them.
Chapman: there are 20 witnesses but never interviewed councilman or his wife.— Brittany Weiss WBRZ (@MsBWeiss) May 25, 2016
The first witness called to the stand was the man who replaced Jones as Denham Springs' top cop, Interim Chief Shannon Womack. He discussed the department's training regarding handling these types of calls, as well as the case itself.
Womack: Davis' wife had come into station and said she didn't want her husband arrested.— Brittany Weiss WBRZ (@MsBWeiss) May 25, 2016
Womack: Davis' case was a misdemeanor case.— Brittany Weiss WBRZ (@MsBWeiss) May 25, 2016
Womack says he and chief never spoke about this case.— Brittany Weiss WBRZ (@MsBWeiss) May 25, 2016
After both sides questioned Womack, the officer who responded to the call at Davis' home took the stand.
Patrol officer Wesley Clarkson called to stand. Responding officer to DV call involving Davis and wife. Everyone asked to leave courtroom.— Brittany Weiss WBRZ (@MsBWeiss) May 25, 2016
Tuesday night's hearing began at 6 p.m. and lasted until just before 10:30 p.m. before a recess was taken. The hearing will resume Wednesday.
Two witnesses have been heard. Recess until 6 pm Wednesday.— Brittany Weiss WBRZ (@MsBWeiss) May 25, 2016