Mayor Holden upholds recommendation to fire police chief

Louisiana Politics

POSTED: Monday, February 18, 2013 - 11:51am

UPDATED: Monday, February 18, 2013 - 7:58pm

In a very public hearing, now former police chief Dewayne White and Mayor Kip Holden went head to head over the chief’s termination.

During the hearing White addressed the 14-point letter Mayor Kip Holden delivered last week. White said that he stands “ready to serve our city and combat our crime problem.”

Click here to view the full letter.

"Your micro-management of my department started in earnest when I transferred union president Chris Stewart, to the rifle range," White stated when he started his testimony.

"I on numerous occasions sent emails to Mr. Daniel requesting the opportunity to address the public through the media. Many of which were denied," White continued, while addressing the accusation that he had leaked information to the media. White has maintained throughout the process that the mayor had told him to not put several things in writing so the media could not obtain it. White also claims the mayor wanted all public records requests to go through his office as well.

In his letter to the Chief Mayor Holden also claimed the chief had accused a large segment of Baton Rouge Police officers of racial bias.

“You are sorely mis-informed, whether you or anyone else wishes to acknowledge it or not, we have a serious race relations problem between our department and the public we serve,” White told Holden.

White then went on to cite the instance of this bias and the micro-management from Holden’s office by relaying the story of a white homicide detective who allegedly made racial remarks at the murder scene of a black teen.

“He stood over the body at the scene and remarked that, ‘I am here on my wife’s birthday and I am I am standing here over a dead…’ and I’ll use the ‘n-word,’” White stated.

White then went on to claim that he had tried to discipline the officer and put a request through William Daniel to transfer the officer. The request, White said, was denied.

When asked about the incident Mayor Holden said he had no idea about the particulars of the situation.

Numerous times White told the mayor he had been misinformed, "your accusation is flat wrong and the information you were given is false," White stated when addressing the Mayor’s accusation that White had given his wife’s godson preferential treatment.

White also called in a witness, Kelley Morgan, who the Mayor alleged had been hired on as a file clerk after resigning from her cadet class. Morgan stood up for White, claiming he had done everything in his power to help her to become an officer.

By the end of the hour and ten minute hearing, White left before waiting on word of his fate as chief. After just over 20 minutes of private debate, Mayor Holden decided to uphold the decision to strip white of his title.

"This man is the master of deception, and the people of Baton Rouge deserve a lot better, and I am very, very much in favor of the recommendation made by my chief administrative officer, William Daniel," Mayor Holden said.

It was a verdict White's team had been anticipating.

"We presented him documents. That clearly was not enough time, and most of the time he never even looked at him, for him to examine the documents before him and make an intelligent, informed decision. As I indicated previously, the dye was cast already," Jill craft, White’s attorney shared after the verdict.

White also accused the mayor of forcing him to move a DWI check-point on January 12, 2012 because of its proximity to downtown. Mayor Holden said the check-point was moved because it was causing traffic issues.

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