Prison investigation leads to firing, demotion
PORT ALLEN - A West Baton Rouge Sheriff's deputy was fired following an internal investigation and a captain was demoted to lieutenant following a separate investigation.
Both incidents happened at the parish prison, according to Colonel Richie Johnson.
According to the sheriff's office, Sgt. Brent Ballard filed an erroneous charge against an inmate and threatened the same inmate with violence. Johnson said Ballard lied and warned other deputies an inmate was "lying in wait" and planned to "abduct a female employee." The department also got a complaint Ballard used pepper spray and force against inmates five times more than other sergeants on duty.
Ballard was demoted to corporal and given a one-day suspension after the investigation was completed. Then on Monday the sheriff's office fired him after Johnson said Ballard failed to report to work for three days after his suspension.
In a separate investigation, Assistant Warden Robert Duclo was demoted from captain to lieutenant after Johnson said he made inappropriate comments to a detention center female employee.
The investigation found the comments did not rise to the level of sexual harassment, but were enough for the sheriff's office to demote Duclo, suspend him one day without pay, force him to take an employee risk assessment evaluation and a 12-session sensitivity training course.
Duclo was allowed to keep his assistant warden position.