The Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board convened Wednesday evening to hear appeals by Lt. Brett Faulkner, Secretary to the Chief Christy Faulkner and Communication Officer Angelique Lebouef.
Before the appeals could be heard, the Commission had to determine if proper procedure under state law was required, including the trio being apprised of the Officer’s Bill of Rights and that conversation recorded and/or transcribed.
Dies was unable to produce the latter. He said that earlier that day he had had a conversation with a confidential source, which he erased after recording.
Unfortunately, he noted, he also erased the applicable conversations with the officers appealing his discipline.
That gave the board no choice but to rescind the chief's actions.
According to Personnel Action Forms, Dies asserted:
Lt. Faulkner had violated procedure relative to use and storage of assigned units and five other subsections of the department’s procedural orders;
Secretary Faulkner had violating procedure relative to chain of command and use of an assigned unit;
Lebouef and violated procedure relative to code of conduct, lawful orders, unsatisfactory performance and members subject to call while off-duty.
Because of the recording faux pas, the board never heard details of the chief’s allegations other than brief remarks by his secretary who said her reprimand involved use of a police vehicle to take a signed grant application to Lafayette one afternoon to meet an unexpected deadline.
She said she left the chief a note after being unable to contact him, went to get the mayor’s signature, found him, Dies and two City Council members having lunch, explained her purpose for being there, got the signature and went to Lafayette, evidently using Lt. Faulkner’s cruiser.
Fire Capt. Keith Vidrine, board chairman, said he had not choice but to overturn the discipline.
Dies asked if “good faith” clauses didn’t apply and Vidrine said the law is clear.
In other action, the board approved 42 Personnel Action Sheets of one kind or another for different employees and rejected seven.
The Rose Mary Stretch?
Rose Mary Woods was the Richard Nixon White House secretary whose ill-timed stretch was supposed to account for part of an 18 1/2-minute gap in a crucial Watergate tape.
Miss Woods, the president’s private secretary, in 1973 was transcribing secretly recorded audiotapes of Oval Office conversations. She was working on a June 20, 1972, tape of a conversation between Nixon and his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, that might have shed light on whether Nixon knew about the Watergate break-in three days earlier.
While she was performing her duties, she told a congressional committee, the phone rang. As she reached for it, she said she inadvertently struck the erase key on the tape recorder and kept her foot on the machine’s pedal for 18 1/2 minutes.