Police Union asking local board chair to resign after his arrest

"The BR Union of Police doubts that Mr. Williams can remain unbiased, fair and impartial in hearing cases involving Baton Rouge Police Officers"

The Baton Rouge Police Union is raising questions about a man who helps determine discipline for police officers yet has had 10 of his own run-ins with local law enforcement, including a felony arrest, according to the Baton Rouge Union of Police.

Brandon Owen Williams, 46, currently serves as chairman of the Baton Rouge Municipal Fire & Police Civil Service Board.

BOARD ATTORNEY JOSHUA DARA (LEFT) CHAIRMAN BRANDON WILLIAMS (RIGHT)

That particular board serves a very crucial need in the Capital City. It provides Baton Rouge Police officers & firefighters the right to appeal any discipline rendered against them by their chiefs. In a day and age when discipline is being rendered based on favoritism or simply being vindictive, officers & firefighters have some hope knowing they can fight the discipline.

FULL BOARD WITH LAWYER & SECRETARY

A panel of five people listen to the employee, who is usually represented by an attorney, and the department in question’s administration with their attorney(s). It’s similar to a trial being put on with the judge being five board members. Each agency (EBR City-Parish, LSU, Southern University, Baton Rouge Police Dept. & Baton Rouge Fire Dept.) appoints a representative to serve on the board. LSU & Southern nominate their suggestions to serve on the board. From there, the EBR Metro Council votes to appoint a nominee from each university. Plus, there’s a board attorney and secretary, but they do not vote.

The board members are:

  • Chairman Brandon Williams (EBR City-Parish appointee)
  • Sharon Lewis (LSU appointee)
  • Press Robinson (Southern appointee)
  • Jon Smith (BRFD appointee)
  • John Dauthier (BRPD appointee)

The BR police union released a statement Monday, June 13th, asking for chairman Williams to resign claiming he can’t be unbiased when he’s had 10 violations of the law and was arrested in 2020.

“It has come to the attention of the members of the Baton Rouge Union of Police that there are court dates pending for Mr. Brandon O Williams who is currently serving as an appointed member of the Baton Rouge Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board. Mr. Williams has had numerous contacts with police, resulting in felony arrest warrants being issued, and more than 10 other contacts for various infractions in recent years. The court dates, which are in the very near future, are for felony charges, and while we believe wholeheartedly in the constitutional presumption of innocence, the contacts with law enforcement, particularly in regards to arrests, carry no presumption of any kind, and certainly can color one’s judgment when it comes to impartiality regarding law enforcement officers.

In the past, Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul objected to the re-appointment of Ms. Julie Cherry to the board in June 2020 for having a conflict of interest due to her employment with the local AFL-CIO. This objection is supported by the public record. Mr. Williams was appointed mid-October 2020, after warrants were issued for his arrest(s) on charges of 2nd degree battery, simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling, and theft in excess of $25,000.

Due to these arrests, the Baton Rouge Union of Police doubts that Mr. Williams can remain unbiased, fair and impartial in hearing cases involving Baton Rouge Police Officers, and the union invokes the same logic enunciated by Chief Paul citing a conflict of interest between Mr. Williams and the Baton Rouge Police Department as his long record of police interactions is quite clear.

We ask that Mr. Williams resign from the board immediately, and if Mr. Williams does not resign, that the appointing authority remove him from this position immediately.”

Unfiltered with Kiran went digging into Williams’ legal past in East Baton Rouge Parish. There were several traffic violations going back to 1994, but the most recent cases involve simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling & theft over $25,000. He was arrested for the cases in Oct. 2020.

In Aug. 2020, Williams is accused of going into a home on Cletus Dr. without the homeowner’s permission and taking a bag of tools that belonged to the victim. Court documents went on to say Williams allegedly took pictures inside the home and sent them via text to the homeowner. The homeowner and Williams had a contract to repair the home but after a disagreement, the contract was terminated. The homeowner is said to have told Williams to never return to his home, according to court records.

In that case, District Attorney Hillar Moore said Williams has not been charged by the DA’s office but the case is still under review.

In the other case, Moore said it is an ongoing case in court. It’s for home improvement fraud & based on a homeowner claiming she is out $130,000. Court documents said the homeowner hired Williams to do some work in May 2018 and paid $130,000. The homeowner alleges the last time Williams went to her home was in Nov. 2019 and had since stopped working and she could not get in touch with him.

Unfiltered with Kiran did reach out to Williams for comment in response to the Union’s letter. Williams said no comment and that his lawyer would be in touch tomorrow (Tuesday).

About Kiran Chawla 577 Articles
I'm an Emmy & Murrow Award winning investigative reporter who simply loves my job!

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