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New dates set in termination appeals of ex-Monroe Police Department officers

Citizens attend meeting in support of Brown’s reinstatement
External photo of MPD.
External photo of MPD.(KNOE)
Published: Apr. 29, 2021 at 6:54 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Members of Monroe Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board agreed to reset appeal dates for two former Monroe police officers trying to get their jobs back.

Former interim police chief Corporal Reggie Brown and former Sergeant Chuck Johnson were terminated late last year.

Monroe Police Chief Vic Zordan accused Brown and Johnson of failing to report an excessive force case in a timely manner. The incident, involving former Monroe Police Department officer Jared Desadier and Monroe resident Timothy Williams, reportedly occurred in April 2020. It is alleged Brown and Johnson were notified between the dates of July 6 and 14 of 2020. They are accused of not taking action in order to have a favorable outcome in Monroe’s 2020 mayoral race.

Further, the men are accused of failing polygraph tests and being untruthful in regards to how they handled the excessive force complaint. Their attorneys maintain they’ve been unjustly terminated.

In a previous meeting, Carol Powell-Lexing -- who represents Brown -- filed a motion to recuse two members of the civil service board. Her motion alleges chairman Hardeman Cordell and Monroe city attorney Steve Oxenhandler are not capable of being unbiased towards Brown.

Thursday, Cordell read a statement denying he is biased and declining to recuse himself from the looming appeal hearing. Oxenhandler echoed these sentiments, denying the allegations lodged against him.

“At no time was there any reason to recuse me,” said Oxendine.

Brown and Johnson’s attorneys are also pushing for the city to relinquish evidence requested by Brown, such as internal affairs records, interview transcripts and police reports. Their attorneys believe it will greatly help their case.

“If they have nothing to hide, then they should turn it over,” Powell-Lexing said.

Brown’s new appeal dates are scheduled for August 18th and 30th. He has subpoenaed 35 people to speak on his behalf.

Johnson’s new appeal date is September 8th. He has requested six people to testify.

The civil service board meeting is Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

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