Vidalia chief: State police investigating officer

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 17, 2000

VIDALIA, La. — Louisiana State Police are investigating charges that Vidalia Police Officer Raphael Cook allegedly falsified reports to his superiors, Police Chief Billy Hammers confirmed Friday.

Senior Trooper Steve Childers verified that state police are investigating a Vidalia police officer, would not say which officer or say what actions were being investigated because the probe is still ongoing.

But Sgt. Mike Migues, supervisor of investigators for State Police Troop E in Alexandria, said he hopes to complete the investigation next week.

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Hammers would comment little on the case, even to say what types of reports were falsified, because the matter is still under investigation.

Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland also would not comment.

Hammers said he discovered last week that reports Cook had given to him and Investigator Bobby Sheppard had been falsified and immediately suspended Cook, who had been working for the department just over one year.

The department handed over the information to the District Attorney’s Office, which referred the case to the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office, said Vidalia Town Attorney Jack McLemore.

The sheriff’s office, in turn, referred the case to the Louisiana State Police.

The Vidalia Board of Aldermen fired Cook during its Tuesday meeting following an executive session.

Cook could not be reached for comment.

Hammers would not say whether his department had received any complaints regarding Cook, and Maxwell said the sheriff’s office had not received any complaints regarding Cook.