St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith says that he and 22nd Judicial District Attorney Warren Montgomery are asking state Attorney General Jeff Landry to review the case of former Deputy Ricky Steinert, who resigned in the face of an internal affairs investigation that found that he falsified a DWI arrest report.
The Sheriff's Office cited concerns about Steinert, a former deputy of the year, raised in a story published in The New Orleans Advocate and aired on WWL-TV this week.
Smith said in an interview for the story that he didn't think a crime was committed when Steinert put false information in the arrest report for Slidell resident Ryan Heyd, a member of the National Guard.
But his news release took pains to note that the DA could have prosecuted Steinert if he wanted to.
"All the information that WWL-TV and The Advocate have reported on this case has been in the hands of the District Attorney’s Office for several months," Smith said in the release. "After consulting with District Attorney Montgomery, we both agree that an independent review of this case by the Office of the Louisiana Attorney General is appropriate in order to put any concerns to rest that the public still may have about this and other cases."
Smith said his office is reviewing "other past cases involving former employees that may warrant review by the Attorney General’s Office."
He concluded by saying his office is looking forward to the review "so we can put these issues of the past behind us."
An internal affairs investigation said that Steinert admitted "copying and pasting" information from one DWI report into another.
His arrest report described in detail Heyd's supposedly poor performance on a field sobriety test in January 2016. However, a cellphone video taken by a friend of Heyd's showed otherwise, and the DA's Office dropped the case.
The DA is now reviewing several dozen cases in which Steinert's testimony was involved. He made 117 arrests from 2015 to 2017, records show.