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Sheriff's captain demoted, suspended for impropriety

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ST. FRANCISVILLE- A high ranking West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's captain was demoted and is currently suspended without pay for his actions after another deputy made a traffic stop.

The stop happened on Oct. 29 around 1:30 a.m. Sources told the WBRZ Investigative Unit Taylor urged the deputy who stopped a car for speeding, not to issue a ticket. That's when the deputy complained and Sheriff Austin Daniel had enough.

"Michael Taylor interfered with a traffic stop that another one of our officers was conducting," West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's spokesperson Erin Foster said. "We received a complaint, looked into it and were able to determine disciplinary action needed to take place."

Michael Taylor is no stranger to the WBRZ Investigative Unit. Three months ago, he was the focus of an investigation we conducted that showed he misused his taxpayer funded fuel card. Our investigation revealed Taylor charged approximately $800 per month on fuel, even though he has a desk job.

"I'm not answering any of your questions," Taylor said back in August.

The West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office said it's never easy to discipline one of their own, but when all the facts checked out in this case, they had no other choice.

"We do hold our office to a high standard and want to make it aware that we don't tolerate this kind of action," Foster said.

As part of Taylor's discipline, his black Chevy Tahoe was permanently taken away. It was parked where he used to work off Highway 61. Taylor won't collect a check for the next two weeks while he's on suspension. He'll also take a pay cut for his demotion from captain to lieutenant, though the sheriff's office could not provide WBRZ with an exact amount for that pay cut.

The West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office has not yet named a replacement captain to take Taylor's place. While this latest incident happened Taylor was already punished for misusing his fuel card. State Police investigated the fuel issue and said there was sufficient evidence to prove a procedural or criminal violation.

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