With future in question, chief mum about decision
DENHAM SPRINGS - The city's police chief left city hall without saying a word following the Denham Springs Civil Service Commission's decision to hold disciplinary hearings targeting the chief and a department captain.
The pair could possibly lose their jobs once they face the commission, which is investigating allegations of mismanagement within the department. The hearings involve Chief Scott Jones and Captain Steve Kistler.
The commission has been holding weekly hearings about issues inside the department for nearly two months following a complaint by a fired officer that the chief was covering up another officer's drug issue.
"At this point again, there's been no conclusion," commission attorney Henry Olinde said. "The evidence needs to be fully vetted and heard at a predisciplinary hearing that the law requires. At that point, the board will have to make a decision on whether violations have occurred and if they did occur what discipline if any is appropriate."
The board accused Jones and Kistler of violating several civil service codes such as failing to do their jobs in a satisfactory manner and deliberately not performing specific job duties.
At the upcoming January hearings, the pair must prove to the board why they are innocent of the allegations against them.
"At the low end of the scale, a written reprimand to the high end of the scale of a termination," Olinde said. "The board has to determine what's appropriate based on what it's heard. These gentlemen have the opportunity to present their side of the story, and the board has to consider that before making any of these types of findings."
Jones refused to talk about the board's decision and Kistler did not attend the hearing Thursday night.