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Lawsuit filed over chief scandal

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BATON ROUGE- Court documents allege police were on a witch hunt when they used a warrant to obtain the cell phone of a woman reportedly having an affair with former police chief Dewayne White.

Kim McCants filed a lawsuit against the department, the city-parish government, and police officers - including Police Chief Carl Dabadie and a detective. The suit was filed Thursday by attorney Jill Craft who also represented White in his case against the city after he was fired last year.

McCants said in court documents her phone was taken early in the morning on March 26, 2013, to embarrass her and White.

White was fired by the mayor's office on February 18, 2013, in what became a public spat between both Mayor Kip Holden and the ousted chief.

After attempting to get a search warrant for McCants' phone from a judge, Detective "Mack" Thomas was able to get clearance from a 19th JDC Commissioner to obtain the phone. The lawsuit said Thomas sold the warrant as part of a criminal investigation into White's missing city-parish cell phone that was reported stolen after he was fired and it was not returned immediately.

The court documents suggest the mayor's office told Thomas to launch an investigation into "every aspect of Mr. White's life, including into his personal life." McCants believes investigators discovered a past relationship she had with the fired chief and was told to obtain evidence to release to the public for the "sole purpose of embarrassing" White.

McCants said she was embarrassed and harassed during the ordeal and her civil rights were violated numerous times, including when the city attempted to release messages between her and White before a judge blocked releasing the conversations.

McCants believes the contents of her phone, including pictures, were shared among the police department and the public.

McCants said she and the chief had a relationship but ended it before he was fired.

The missing cell phone, according to court documents, was in the possession of Craft, who was White's attorney, and everyone involved knew where the phone was being stored.

The lawsuit seeks damages and attorneys fees.

The police department said it does not comment on pending litigation.
Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz



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