Concordia Parish Police Jury investigating possible employee misconduct

Published 2:00 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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VIDALIA, La. — The Concordia Parish Police Jury is hiring a private investigator based in Shreveport to investigate potential employee misconduct.

Ten minutes into the 6 p.m. regularly scheduled meeting, the Police Jury voted 8-0 to enter an executive session to discuss “employee/personnel conduct issues” in accordance with Louisiana Revised Statute 42:17, which is the exceptions to open meetings law. Police Juror Kenny Simpson was absent on Monday.

Executive sessions are closed to the public and to media and only certain topics are allowed for discussion, such as personnel matters and litigation.

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The board returned to open meeting after the 15-minute executive session.

Police Juror Cornell Lewis, following the board attorney’s recommendation, moved to “engage Cecil Carter of Scientific Investigative Services of Louisiana, Inc. to perform an investigation into workplace misconduct” and authorize the Police Jury Secretary Ariella Carter to sign any documents to hire the investigator and President Collin Edwards to “execute any orders necessary to facilitate the investigation.”

The motion passed by a vote of 8-0 without further discussion and then the meeting was adjourned.

During the open meeting, the Police Jury opened and closed a public hearing on the adoption of an ordinance to provide for the sale of adjudicated properties that had been discussed at the Police Jury’s April 8 meeting.

No ordinance was approved after the public hearing and no comments from the public were made.

Wesley Johnson of E&P Consulting addressed the board on April 8 about adopting an ordinance that would allow for the sale of adjudicated properties.

However, Johnson said the ordinance would not bind the police jury to use the online platform or her services. A separate Memorandum of Understanding that the board would need to adopt would prepare the parish to use E&P Consulting and list adjudicated properties on a multi-parish website,, for public viewing. Concordia Parish currently has 188 properties that are adjudicated.

No MOU has been approved yet by the police jury.

“The ordinance doesn’t name us (E&P Consulting) in there, so if you don’t like us, you can still use it and move on,” Johnsons said during the April 8 meeting. “The MOU is a cooperative agreement that says we’re going to use you, but there is no money that exchanges hands with that.”

In other matters, the board voted 8-0 to appoint Jessie Whitehead as a member of Concordia Recreation District #3 in the place of Greg Young. The board also approved travel for police jurors and the secretary-treasurer to attend Legislative Day from April 30 to May 1 in Baton Rouge.

The Police Jury also voted 8-0 to approve the road superintendent’s materials for work requests and purchase of four culverts for $6,177.88.