State Police commission holds former Superintendent Kevin Reeves in contempt for ignoring subpoena
BATON ROUGE - Just a day after lawmakers held former State Police leader Col. Kevin Reeves in contempt for withholding personal journal entries they believe could be relevant to their investigation into Ronald Greene's death, the commission that oversees discipline at State Police now too is holding Reeves in contempt for ignoring a legal order.
Reeves was a no-show last month at a disciplinary hearing for Trooper Carl Cavalier, who was fired after he spoke out about Greene's in-custody death. Cavalier is looking to have his termination overturned.
At that initial April 14 hearing, Cavalier's lawyer asked that Reeves be held in contempt for ignoring a subpoena. When the discussion picked back up Thursday, roughly a month later, the commission voted unanimously to hold him in contempt.
Reeves was present for that vote Thursday.
"The public should understand today that the former Superintendent for Louisiana State Police, high ranking officials and state police itself are not above the law," Cavalier's lawyer Jill Craft said. "This commission had the courage to stand up and hold them in contempt for refusing to appear for hearings for refusing to produce documents. It was the right result and a great step in the right direction."
Reeves' lawyer contends they've been cooperative the entire time.
"They need to talk to people with direct knowledge and leave us alone," Lewis Unglesby said.
Major Jason Turner, a recently retired trooper with ties to the Greene investigation, also ignored a subpoena last month when he did not show up. He too was held in contempt Thursday.
In an unprecedented and extraordinary move, the Commission then voted to hold Louisiana State Police in contempt too for failing to turn over documents to Cavalier's lawyer.
"If you think about it, an entire agency that we the tax payers pay for thumbed their noses at a subpoena lawfully issued and have been adjudged in contempt," Craft said. "That's huge."
Penalties for Reeves, Turner and State Police will be decided at another meeting June 9.
During the meeting, discipline for Trooper Albert Paxton was overturned by the commission. Paxton has testified before numerous committees at the capitol trying to get to the bottom of the Ronald Greene incident.
Paxton was disciplined for sending an email to his wife from his State Police email pertaining to the Ronald Greene investigation. Paxton said he was placed under investigation and disciplined after he refused to go along with the coverup and lie tied to Greene's death.
"I wouldn't change any decision that I made," Paxton said. "We were trained in the academy to tell the truth. Trained that you present evidence to the court you don't hide anything. I wasn't going to do it."
Paxton said the decision by the commission Thursday will help him breathe a sigh of relief.
"There is a feeling of vindication," Paxton said. "This is the first step at the truth being told of the Ronald Greene incident. The family, Mona Hardin can get some relief and start to grieve her son."
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