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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Former BR Police officer concerned about union, mayor relationship

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BATON ROUGE- Former Baton Rouge Police Officer Richard Sobers retired after 25 years with the department.  He says he can't remember a chief of police being terminated, unless it involved a new mayor taking office.

Sobers says he heard from current police who are glad Mayor Kip Holden fired Police Chief Dewayne White.  He says many did not like the way he handled personnel transfers.

Others are concerned about the police union's influence on the mayor.  Sobers filed a complaint with the civil service board claiming members of the union were campaigning for the mayor during elections last fall.  Some claims were dismissed.  Others are still pending.  Sobers says there is speculation from current and former police about whether Holden agreed to fire White in return for the union's political support.

    Sobers is asking members of the Louisiana Legislature for help.  He wants a state law preventing police unions from supporting mayoral candidates in communities where the police chief is appointed by the mayor.

     Baton Rouge Police Union chief Chris Stewart sent a short response when we asked him about the investigations.  He says he cannot comment because the issue with Chief White is under litigation.

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