Prosecutors have refused to pursue charges against a former Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office recruit accused of unlawfully working a full shift at Orleans Parish Prison after she had been fired.
Dariyan Octave, 21, had been booked in June on counts of trespassing and impersonating an officer — an arrest announced in a news release from the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office.
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office recently refused to move forward on those charges. Christopher Bowman, a spokesman for the office, said prosecutors did not have enough evidence to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
Octave had worked at the Sheriff’s Office about three months before she was terminated in May.
Her firing stemmed from a fine she received in Jefferson Parish for contempt of court after she missed an arraignment on a misdemeanor theft charge. She recently missed another court appearance in the same case, in which she and a co-defendant are accused of shoplifting from Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie, according to court records.
For some reason, Octave was permitted in June to return to Orleans Parish Prison, where she worked a shift several days after she had been fired. It remains unclear why supervisors did not notice her unauthorized presence until after the fact.
Shortly after the arrest, Octave’s defense attorney said Octave had not been made aware of her termination. Octave’s mother, who also works for the Sheriff’s Office, said at the time she also had not realized the agency fired her daughter.
But personnel documents released to The New Orleans Advocate in response to a public records request show Octave wrote Sheriff Marlin Gusman a letter dated June 15 — the day before she worked the unauthorized shift — in which she appealed to the sheriff to rehire her. She wrote that she had been “recently terminated” because she failed to document medical absences.
“I have always wanted to be a part of the OPSO Team,” Octave wrote. “I am asking to meet with you as soon as possible. ... I am a young mother who was very grateful to have a job opportunity to work under you as a sheriff and will love to be able to continue to work under you.”
Authorities also investigated whether Octave sought to smuggle a cellphone to a boyfriend being held in the jail’s Conchetta facility on Tulane Avenue. A warrant for Octave’s arrest said it was “unknown if she attempted to pass contraband to her boyfriend.”
Follow Jim Mustian on Twitter, @JimMustian.