Former Denham Springs Police Chief Scott Jones has asked a state court judge to overturn the city’s decision to fire him over his handling of a domestic violence case involving a city councilman.
Jones filed his petition for review with the 21st Judicial District Court in Livingston late Monday, alleging that his firing was retaliatory, without cause and too severe a punishment, and that the city violated his rights under state law and failed to prove its case against him.
Jones is seeking reinstatement with back pay and expungement from his personnel records of any mention of this disciplinary action.
The case was assigned to Judge Charlotte Foster.
Mayor Gerard Landry said Tuesday the city is prepared to respond to the lawsuit once city attorney Stephanie Hulett returns to work next week.
Neither Jones nor his attorney, Benjamin Chapman, of Milling Benson Woodward, could be reached for comment Tuesday.
Fourteen applicants to replace Jones as police chief will take the civil service exam July 11, Landry said. Meanwhile, Capt. Shannon Womack serves as interim chief.
DENHAM SPRINGS — After listening to nearly an hour of testimony about the character and inte…
Jones and his second-in-command, Capt. Steve Kistler, were fired April 7 following an investigation into the department’s handling of an alleged domestic violence incident involving City Councilman Chris Davis.
Davis’ wife called 911 after an overnight altercation between the couple Jan. 14-15 left her with a head injury. Both Davises have since said the injury was an accident.
Davis pleaded not guilty to a count of domestic abuse battery and entered a pretrial diversion program, which he is expected to complete sometime around late August.
Police issued Davis a summons, rather than arresting him, following a flurry of phone calls and text messages among Davis, Kistler, Jones and city prosecutor Blayne Honeycutt after the Jan. 15 incident.
The three-person investigative committee Landry appointed in February to review the case found those calls and text messages to be a troubling sign of possible preferential treatment. The department had recently adopted a policy of arresting all alleged aggressors in domestic violence cases.
DENHAM SPRINGS — Fired Police Chief Paul “Scott” Jones and Capt. Steve Kistler violated nume…
The committee found that Jones had disobeyed a direct order from the mayor to ensure the law was followed in Davis’ case, had misrepresented his social relationship with Davis and had allowed officers to violate state law and department policy in handling the case.
The City Council voted 4-1 on April 7 to uphold Landry’s recommendation to fire Jones. Davis cast the lone “no” vote, calling the council’s decision political.
Jones appealed to the Denham Springs Civil Service Board, which ruled June 1 that the city had proven its case that Jones failed to perform his duties satisfactorily, deliberately omitted acts he was required to perform, committed or omitted acts prejudicial to the department or public interest, and committed acts sufficient to show he was unfit for employment in the Civil Service.
The board did not rule on the city’s findings that Jones had been insubordinate or guilty of dishonest, disgraceful or immoral conduct.
In his petition for judicial review, Jones says the city failed to prove any of its allegations against him, and the Civil Service Board should have rescinded or at least reduced the severity of his discipline.
Kistler also has appealed his termination to the Civil Service Board. His hearing will begin Aug. 1.
DENHAM SPRINGS — A bid to remove the city’s police chief and fire chief from the civil servi…