More drug, cover-up allegations made about officer
DENHAM SPRINGS - Monday, the civil service commission continued its investigation into the city's police department and heard from a detective on the force who said a fellow officer fell asleep at his desk while on drugs a year ago and reported the incident to superiors.
"One day (Sgt. Russel Munsell) had come in and it appeared he had been impaired. While he was talking to me, he would fall asleep in his chair," detective Bert Feske said.
The Denham Springs Civil Service Commission is investigating complaints related to Munsell and allegations the chief covered up issues. An officer who was recently fired is alleging the department's administrators hid Munsell's suspected drug problem for years and tried to get him off the force when he reported it.
Last week, other officers told commissioners Munsell had been suspected of taking drugs, a cell phone and money from an evidence locker. One also said Munsell was photographed sleeping at his desk last month.
Munsell, a narcotics agent, is on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation related to the allegations.
Officers told the commission they have been ordered not to talk to them about Munsell's pending investigation. The commission filed a motion with the 21st Judicial Court to decide if the officers are obligated to talk about Munsell's current issue.
"We've heard evidence at this point of episodes that go back at least three years," commission attorney Henry Olinde said. "I think the question is, did the administration know of this a long time ago and should they have dealt with this a long time ago? Or did they not?"
Chief Scott Jones refused to make any comments until the civil service investigation is over.
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