EXCLUSIVE: Police department under civil service investigation
DENHAM SPRINGS - The Denham Springs Civil Service Commission voted to investigate the town's police department following allegations about misconduct made against the chief and two other officers.
Former officer, Jared Kreamer, accuses Chief Scott Jones, Captain Steve Kistler and Sergeant Russell Munzell of tampering with evidence and covering up a fellow officer's drug problem. Other claims have been made, too.
Kreamer was fired for misconduct and failing to obey orders from a superior officer. Kreamer's attorney made the allegations at his dismissal hearing.
Kreamer claims an officer came to work high on prescription drugs and was then put on administrative leave recently. He says he told Chief Jones about the officer's problem two years ago but the chief ignored him.
Last week, Jones told WBRZ News 2 a sergeant is on leave but would not say who or why. He also confirmed there is an internal investigation into the sergeant's conduct.
The board will begin interviewing witnesses next week and the investigation can last no longer than 60 days.
"This board will not tolerate any retaliation or any intimidation of parties or witnesses to this investigation," commissioner Jennifer Barclay said.
"Allegations and evidence are two very different things," Commission attorney Henry Olinde said. "So at this point, the trigger got pulled when they received a written complaint and they don't have a choice but to investigate it. Where this all goes? It all depends on what the evidence is eventually."
Captain Kistler did not want to comment after the meeting Thursday. The chief did not return calls for comment.