It just gets uglier in Shreveport, Louisiana. Over the last two days, both Chief Craig Mulford and Assistant Chief James Carpenter turned themselves in after indictments were handed up in an investigation that started last year. The charges against the chiefs are related to allegations of a cover-up in connection with the scandal that brought the arrests and firing of five firefighters. The firefighters are charged with mistreating two mentally disabled men.
According to court documents, SFD Chief Craig Mulford reportedly responded to the allegations in June 2013 by interviewing some of the firefighters and concluded it was all merely a rumor originating from a disgruntled employee. In an affidavit by Rod Demery, a Shreveport Police Department detective assigned to investigate the misconduct, Demery wrote that he learned the firefighters “all told the same story of denial” to the chief, which later unraveled.
Demery also wrote that the whistle-blower, an employee with SFD, reported the misconduct to the FBI, but when an FBI agent tried to ask questions, Mulford “ordered the FBI special agent from city property, forbidding the special agent from interviewing the reporting party.”
(Mulford attorney Paul J.) Carmouche said the allegations against his client were “absolutely ridiculous.”
Last summer, five firefighters – Derrick Harris, Jason Vaughan, Clint Richardson, Billy Glass, and Randy Chandler – were arrested for mistreating and playing cruel pranks on a mentally disabled man who often visited Fire Station No. 8. The firefighters, except for Chandler, also are accused of hiring a prostitute to have sex with another intellectually-challenged man who was known informally as a “mascot” of the station.
According to Caddo Parish Assistant District Attorney Dale Cox, Carpenter testified on one occasion during the grand jury that Shreveport Fire Chief Ronald Craig Mulford gave him a direct order that all SFD employees were required to check with Mulford before speaking with law enforcement. In a separate session of the grand jury, Carpenter denied that Mulford had made such a demand.
Cox added perjury does not require proving that a statement is true or false, but rather rests on the fact that two statements made under oath are diametrically opposed to one another.