Failed polygraphs, mayoral election cited in Monroe PD fmr. interim chief & sgt. termination letters

Published: Jan. 27, 2021 at 5:10 PM CST
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Documents obtained by KNOE reveal the stated reasons behind the firing of two high-profile officers with the Monroe Police Department late last year.

Letters delivered to Corporal Reggie Brown, who served as Interim Chief of Police for a time, and Sgt. Chuck Johnson say the officers engaged in actions which “impaired the efficient and effective operation of the MPD.” The letters were dated Nov. 23, 2020.

Both letters cite the excessive force case brought forth by Timothy Williams, a man who says he was beaten by Monroe police in April of 2020.

The letters state Brown learned about the Williams complaint on or around July 6, but delayed contacting Louisiana State Police until after the July 11, 2020 mayoral election to protect his interests in becoming Chief of Police.

Former Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo said Brown launched an internal investigation on the same day he found out.

“I was notified by Chief Brown on July 6 of last year about the incident concerning Timothy Williams and Chief Brown immediately started an internal criminal and administrative investigation. He also put Officer Jared Desadier on administrative leave and I believe it was another officer he put on leave as well,” Mayo said.

Johnson’s attorney, John Beck, said it wasn’t his client’s duty to report the incident to state police.

“Mr. Johnson simply as the public relations officer did not have the responsibility or authority to do it,” Beck said.

Brown’s attorney, Carol Powell Lexing, said the claims made by the city go entirely against the truth.

“Those were false allegations. Those were allegations trumped up as I stated earlier to satisfy political expediency. You have the city trying to create something to justify their termination of Corporal Brown because they did not want him to be police chief. It’s as simple as that,” Lexing said.

“They’re looking for a scapegoat. They need to blame somebody for some reason this case was sat on between April and July. For some reason, they’ve decided to zero in from July 10 to July 13 when supposedly my client Mr. Johnson was supposed to send it state police,” Beck said.

They are also accused of giving untruthful answers during an investigation into the delay. The letters state they failed polygraph tests, which is grounds for termination.

Lexing said polygraph tests are inadmissible in court according to Louisiana Supreme Court law, and are unreliable.

“You don’t know transpired prior to him haven to taken that test because it’s based on physiological responses, and if somebody got him upset, then you have to factor all those things in. You can’t really rely on a polygraph test to a certain degree in determining if a person is truthful or not,” Lexing said.

Both Brown and Johnson have filed appeals are seeking full reinstatement. Brown’s attorney called the termination unjustified. Brown’s case in front of the Civil Service Board is set for March 2. Johnson’s is set for March 9.

Details of the matter can be found in the following documents, which were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act filed by KNOE.

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