The Louisiana State Police has concluded the administrative investigation into the details of a 2016 business trip by four troopers to a San Diego law enforcement conference that included an unauthorized side trip to Las Vegas.
The troopers involved have all received final letters which serve as official notification of the department’s disciplinary decisions based on the internal investigation. The two ranking troopers, a captain and a lieutenant, have been demoted effective immediately.
In an effort to identify potential policy violations, the department began an administrative investigation. Because the investigation involved the then-Commander of Internal Affairs, the inquiry was assigned to two ranking officers, one a Major and the other a Captain. Both had each previously served in Internal Affairs and both had extensive experience in administrative investigations. They were assisted by an attorney supervisor from the Legal Affairs section of the Department of Public Safety.
The goal of the administrative investigation was to determine if the involved officers violated any departmental policies or state travel regulations before, during or after the conference related travel. The facts of the case were then submitted to the State Police disciplinary committee for review and action. The disciplinary committee is comprised of the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent and the Deputy Superintendents. The Superintendent made the following decision based on the recommendation of the committee:· Captain Derrell Williams, who was previously reassigned from the detailed rank of Major to his classified rank of Captain has been demoted to the rank of Lieutenant · Lieutenant Rodney Hyatt has been demoted to the rank of Sergeant · Master Trooper Thurman Miller received a Letter of Reprimand · Trooper Alexandr Nezgodinsky was counseled.
The officers may appeal the disciplinary actions to the Louisiana State Police Commission for further review.
“This administrative investigation was an unfortunate but necessary process. As a department charged with the public safety of our citizens, we must hold ourselves accountable before we can begin to hold others accountable,” said Colonel Kevin Reeves, State Police Superintendent. “One incident does not define us. We will inevitably make mistakes, but together, our goal must be to promote an environment that is not only conducive to public service and cultivates professional development and growth but also maintains public confidence in our agency.”