Attorney for fired BRPD Chief describes interference
BATON ROUGE - Police union president Chris Stewart released a statement Friday supporting the mayor's decision to fire former Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White.
Stewart said in the emailed statement that White's tenure as chief resulted in "the most tumultuous era ever within the Baton Rouge Police Department." He also said the union was "disappointed" in White's lack of leadership and direction, which Stewart claimed resulted in an increase in violent crime in the city.
Baton Rouge Police reported in January the city-parish had a slight increase in murders, but the rate fell off steeply at the end of 2012. Stewart claimed that was due to the work of other city leaders coordinating with the BRAVE policing effort, not to any of White's efforts.
Through his attorney Thursday, White said Mayor Kip Holden interfered with his ability to make changes at the department and removed his ability to transfer or discipline officers. White's attorney said this started after the chief transferred Stewart from a position with "non-existent duties" to one that "required work."
Stewart claimed in his statement that White created an "adverse environment" at the department, which he says the union tried to mediate privately.
"If politics have been injected into the Baton Rouge Police Department, it is Chief White who has done so," Stewart said.
News 2 requested Stewart appear on-camera to discuss his comments. He declined. Mayor Kip Holden and Chief Administrative Officer William Daniel have also refused to comment, saying the situation is a personnel matter.
White, who was fired Wednesday, is scheduled to appear at a hearing on Feb. 18 about the termination. His attorney said she requested that hearing be made public.