Fired, then rehired officer is family to a BRPD contract recipient

Unfiltered with Kiran brought you the investigation Monday looking into Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul first firing an officer in 2018 and then rehiring her as of July 19, 2021. Numerous people are now asking, ‘Why’?”

Original Report: BRPD Chief rehires officer he fired in 2018

Unfiltered with Kiran pulled all the payments made out to Clay Young with Clay Young Enterprises, an advertising and marketing firm.

Young did confirm to Unfiltered with Kiran that the officer in question, Michelle Patterson, is his sister-in-law.

The checks go back to 2019 for various jobs. The following year, his work expanded to include the Baton Rouge Police Department.

All the payments were separated by department including the amount of money for each contract.

The types of contracts included things like graphics designs, public & media relations consulting and social media marketing planning strategic with numerous sources saying that includes managing BRPD’s Facebook page.

The total amount of money BRPD has paid Clay Young through the EBR city/parish since 2020 is $236,213.00.

Patterson was terminated effective immediately in May 2018 for injuring public records and malfeasance in office, both felonies, according to her termination paperwork.

Her attorney was able to get her into a pre-trial diversion meaning she was arrested, but not convicted per District Attorney Hillar Moore, but an arrest and the charge of falsifying a document automatically puts an officer on the Brady list. That’s a list of officers who have certain issues in their background that require disclosure to defense attorneys if those officers are in any way involved with a particular case.

Former prosecutor turned watchdog group Rafael Goyeneche with the Metropolitan Crime Commission interviewed on the case. Patterson is now re-hired and assigned to patrol the streets of Baton Rouge. Her name remains on the Brady list.

“She is not going to be a credible witness and will be of no real use in her ability to go to court and testify in any cases that she may make, which is essentially saying her usefulness as an officer is forever tainted,” said Goyeneche.

Watch Goyeneche’s Full Interview

Numerous sources said Patterson will be given the title of corporal, instead of returning as an officer because after six years on the force, you become a corporal and had she not been fired in 2018, she would have six years on the force by now. Plus, multiple sources said the chief is considering giving Patterson backpay and benefits going back to her termination date in 2018, meaning three years of money coming from East Baton Rouge Parish tax dollars.

“Awarding her backpay is a violation of the state constitution because she hasn’t earned it and she has in fact, according to the Baton Rouge Police Dept., violated their administrative rules and the felony laws of Louisiana that would disqualify her from being hired, so therefore paying her backpay would be a violation of the state constitution. So again, I believe that Murphy Paul owes an explanation to the public as to how he reached this decision and the justification for the actions he’s taken,” said Goyeneche.  

Unfiltered with Kiran requested an interview with Chief Paul Monday and told the request has been forwarded to the chief’s office. As of this report, still no response from BRPD.

Meanwhile, Unfiltered with Kiran did call Clay Young and asked what multiple sources have said that the chief, Young and Patterson had a private meeting with only the three of them, no attorneys for the chief or the officer. Young said that meeting did not happen.

Unfiltered with Kiran asked if Young had any part in helping his sister-in-law get her job back and he said, “This situation does not involve me.” When Young was asked about the contracts with the department, his response to that was, “No comment.” 

About Kiran Chawla 920 Articles
I'm an Emmy & Murrow Award winning investigative reporter who simply loves my job!

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