LAKE CHARLES, La. — The mayor of Lake Charles and three city police officials have been sued by a deputy chief who was indicted and fired but then was reinstated by court order.
The suit alleges The petition alleges that Harrell, Kraus and Dixon influenced Capt. Arnold Bellow’s testimony at Bell’s hearing, and abused the criminal procedure process to keep Bell from testifying at his civil service proceedings.
Officials accused Bell of improperly paying a secretary for work while she was in school. But the judge who reinstated Bell in April noted that the arrangement had begun six years before the secretary was transferred to Bell’s division in 2013.
The lawsuit filed in state court on July 14 names as defendants Mayor Randy Roach, Police Chief Don Dixon, Deputy Chief Mark Kraus and Sgt. Richard Harrell.
“We find no merit in the allegations which he has made against the city and individual officers and intend to defend this suit,” said city attorney Billy Loftin.
Attorney Chris Ieyoub, who represents one of the officers, called Bell’s claims outrageous.
District Court Judge Sharon Wilson awarded Bell back pay when she reinstated him in April.
Bell’s attorney, Todd Clemons, described that ruling as “complete vindication” for Bell.
The lawsuit says the indictment and firings damaged the reputations of Bell and his wife, Beauhla, and caused loss of income, public humiliation, embarrassment and mental anguish.
This story has been corrected to show police officials are accused of influencing grand jury testimony, not lying to the panel.
Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com