Although not discussed during the public meeting Thursday night when Police Chief Paul “Scott” Jones was fired, Denham Springs Police Department’s second-in-command also was terminated, the mayor confirmed Friday.
The terminations of Jones and Capt. Steve Kistler followed an internal investigation into the Police Department’s handling of a domestic violence call involving a city councilman.
Kistler, whose termination was effective at 2 p.m. Thursday, did not immediately return a message seeking comment Friday.
Jones also has declined comment on his termination or whether he will appeal or file suit.
The officers have 15 days to file an appeal with the city’s civil service board.
Mayor Gerard Landry said Friday that the search for a new police chief will begin immediately. The city also is looking to fill the captain position, either through an outside hire or internal promotion, he said.
Landry placed Jones and Kistler on leave starting Feb. 17, while a three-person committee conducted interviews and pored over documents to determine why the call from Councilman Chris Davis’ wife was handled differently from other cases of alleged domestic violence.
Police had issued a warrant for Davis’ arrest following the Jan. 15 incident but did not execute it, District Attorney Scott Perrilloux has said. Instead, Davis was issued a summons to appear in court.
A summons does not trigger the issuance of a protective order, the way an arrest on a domestic abuse count does, Perrilloux has said.
The District Attorney’s Office later issued its own warrant for Davis’ arrest, and he surrendered in February.
Both Davises have since said the injury the councilman’s wife sustained during the argument was an accident.
Jones’ termination was handled in a council meeting because the chief is an appointed position, Landry said Friday. The termination of Kistler, a nonappointed employee, did not require a council vote.
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