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2 August 2012 Letter to Michael Harson

2 August 2012 Letter to Michael Harson

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Published by: Busted In Acadiana on Aug 03, 2012
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07/25/2013

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Spring & Spring, LLCSpring & Spring, LLCSpring & Spring, LLCSpring & Spring, LLC
Attorneys at Law
 
“Litigators Not Negotiators” 
Stanley A. Spring, Esq. - Florida BarS. Stephen Spring, II, Esq. - Louisiana Bar733 East Airport Avenue, Suite 104Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70806Telephone: 225-932-9671Facsimile: 413-451-8923Email: springlaw@gmail.comWeb: www.springlaw.net
Spring & Spring LLC
 
CommunicationsHouseMayfair
 
London
 
W1U 6PZ
 
Spring & Spring LLCCommunications HouseMayfairLondon W1U 6PZ
 
John S. Penton, Jr., Esq. - Florida Bar *David Mahdavi, Esq. - Virginia. Bar *Julie S. Page, Esq. - California Bar ** Of Counsel MemberWash. D.C.: 202-465-4696Miami, FL: 305-677-3847London: 44-208-181-6545U.K. Fax: 44-208-181-6545
2 August 2012(Transmitted by Hand Delivery)Honorable Michael HarsonDistrict Attorney – 15
th
JDC800 South Buchannan StreetLafayette, Louisiana 70502337.232.5170 (voice)337.235.1354 (facsimile)Re: Possible Investigation by Your Office Lafayette Police DepartmentDear Mr. Harson:We are pleased to have been retained to represent a number of courageous LafayettePolice Department officers. In connection with our representation, it has come to ourattention that matters have occurred within the Lafayette Police Department which may be of interest to your office since our knowledge of criminal law is obviously surpassed by yours.On July 12, 2012, a grand jury indicted the Mayor and Chief of Police of Springfield,Louisiana, alleging that these gentlemen attempted to cover up an alleged OWIinfraction by one of Springfield’s citizens. We have attached, as Exhibit “A”, a copy of the press release issued by Channel 2, WRBZ in Baton Rouge. That case is beingprosecuted by David Caldwell in the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office.As a result of the revelation of this indictment, we are providing you with a Mandamusaction which we have found necessary to file on behalf of our clients seeking public
 
Page 2 of 31 August 2012Investigation Request to Michael Harson
 
records which were not provided to our clients pursuant to a lawful public recordsrequest. This Petition for Mandamus contains in its exhibits a copy of the original 911recording from the University of Louisiana McDonald’s. In addition, we obtained atape recording of Chief James Craft and other members of his department discussingthe incident in which a member of the LPD was alleged to have been so intoxicated thathe was visibly incoherent while slumped over the steering wheel of his personal vehiclewith the key in the ignition and engine running. These audio files can be reviewed atthe following internet addresses:
http://realcopsvcraft.com/Audio/911call.mp3 andhttp://realcopsvcraft.com/Audio/2012jan18.mp3, respectively.
The particulars of this event are described in detail in the Mandamus Petition we havefiled this day.In conducting our investigation of this matter on behalf of our clients, we received firsthand information that from the initial report of this incident, active steps were taken tocover up this entire matter. Rather than request an administrative (i.e. Internal Affairs)investigation, Major Randy Vincent of the LPD, ostensibly acting upon instruction of Chief James Craft, ordered a shift level investigation from the scene of the incident.Rather than order any citations to the officer, Captain Randy Vincent ordered he betaken home while another subordinate officer properly parked the alleged intoxicatedofficer’s car. The alleged intoxicated officer did not properly park his vehicle in theparking lot of the McDonald’s. We obtained information that the telephone callsdocumenting Major Vincent ordering Lt. Nolvey Stelly NOT to call Internal Affairs areroutinely recorded and archived. Despite our public records request this recording wasNOT PROVIDED.Our information also discloses that a summons was issued to the owner of the City Bar,located in Lafayette across the street from Dwyer’s restaurant, for remaining open pastmandatory closing time and providing a number of police officers (including thealleged intoxicated officer) with free booze. The summons alleging a violation of Lafayette City Ordinance 4-96 was refused by the City Prosecutor’s office directed byMr. Gary Haynes, City Prosecutor.Although we have established through our investigation that at least one AfricanAmerican officer in an unrelated incident not involving alleged intoxication was givenseven (7) days suspension without pay for a minor automobile accident in which a mail box was damaged, Chief James Craft ordered the offending alleged intoxicated whiteofficer to sustain one (1) day suspension without pay.In addition, a number of officers involved were reported to be less than truthful to theassigned Investigator which can sustain immediate termination of job under theLafayette Consolidated Government’s policies and procedures manual. These officers

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