A former Baker police officer arrested last year but not prosecuted for allegedly failing to properly investigate a shots-fired incident involving East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux's son, is suing the Baker Police Department and its chief.
Adam Procell, a sergeant at the time of his termination, claims in his lawsuit that his arrest was pursued and made "recklessly, maliciously, and without foundation in law."
Procell alleges in the suit that Baker Police Chief Carl Dunn sought criminal charges against him as retaliation for Procell's support of the previous administration led by former Chief Mike Knapps.
The officer, Sgt. Adam Wayne Procell, was booked into jail Friday and promptly released on $2,500 bail, according to Parish Prison records.
Dunn knew Procell was in the final stages of being hired by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office as a full-time deputy, according to the suit filed Monday, and Dunn sought to “sabotage Sgt. Procell’s prospects and opportunities.”
Procell's attorney, Chris Alexander, described him as an exceptional cop and public servant and said he shouldn't have been arrested and fired.
“Nobody who rips a man’s career apart so flippantly should be the leader of any organization," Alexander said. "It’s that simple.”
Dunn said Tuesday he had not seen the lawsuit but added, “I know we’ve done everything by the book.”
Dunn has said detectives who investigated the matter conducted a fair and thorough probe that resulted in "more than enough probable cause" to arrest Procell.
However, East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said last fall that his office found Procell broke no laws while investigating an April 27, 2017, report of illegal gun discharges.
Procell was arrested the day after the incident and booked on single counts of malfeasance in office and obstruction of justice.
Moore said the decision not to charge Procell was based purely on the evidence and had nothing to do with the people involved. He said his office reviewed the arrest warrant, body camera footage and police reports and found insufficient evidence to bring charges against Procell.
A former Baker police officer will not face criminal charges after he was arrested in April and accused of failing to properly investigate a r…
Ben Gautreaux, the sheriff's son, admitted to Procell that he and two others fired shots at a snake in his backyard in a residential neighborhood. An ordinance prohibits Baker residents from discharging firearms within city limits.
Procell repeatedly told Ben Gautreaux he wouldn't do anything about his discharge of a rifle, and told the younger Gautreaux the city ordinance forbidding such discharges is "BS," according to the arrest warrant for Procell that referenced body camera footage from Procell's encounter with Ben Gautreaux.
Baker detectives ultimately issued Ben Gautreaux a misdemeanor summons for illegally discharging a weapon within city limits. He was later charged, pleaded guilty and was put on probation.
Procell, who is not currently employed, "can't work in law enforcement until this is over and his name is cleared,” Alexander said.
The suit, filed in the 19th Judicial District Court and assigned to state District Judge Mike Caldwell, seeks monetary damages. Procell's wife also is a plaintiff.