In a majority vote from March 31, 2022-April 1, 2022, Sgt. John Dauthier won over Cpl. Sherri Harris.
The election was for a seat on the Municipal Fire & Police Civil Service Board to represent the Baton Rouge Police Dept. where all BRPD officers got to vote over a two-day period.
“I couldn’t be more honored by the vote of confidence of my colleagues to represent them on the Civil Service Board,” said Sgt. Dauthier. “My family and I recently agreed that I should forgo my planned retirement last month to seek this position. I am committed to being a strong advocate for the laws and policies that govern the civil servants who I now represent, in hopes of protecting the public interest of actual transparency and accountability that both the employees and taxpayers deserve.”
The election came after the former BRPD representative and board chair Cpl. Robb Moruzzi resigned in early January 2022 after having been on the board for seven years.
“While I have enjoyed much of my time serving on this board on behalf of my fellow classified-service employees, I am exhausted. The personal biases and political-type division that seems to block the road to progress are present everywhere and this board is no exception. I will remain, as always, available to any fire or police employee who needs my help, but am happy to enjoy some rest after my tenure on this board,” said Cpl. Moruzzi.
The Civil Service Board hearing have been very heated the last few years and lasting for hours on end as BRPD officers fought to get their discipline overturned that was rendered by BRPD Chief Murphy Paul. It’s been the subject of numerous investigations by Unfiltered with Kiran.
The Civil Service Board provides an opportunity for any firefighter or officer to ask for a reconsideration of the discipline rendered by their chief. Five people sit on the board, a representative from BRPD, BRFD, Southern University, LSU and the governing authority (city council/mayor).
Sgt. Dauthier and Chief Paul have a history of not getting along. Chief Paul disciplined Sgt. Dauthier for 60 days and demoted him in rank for how he handled a call that was caught on his and his fellow responding officers’ body cameras. Dauthier went before the board and was able to successfully get his discipline overturned and his rank was restored to sergeant.
Plus, Sgt. Dauthier has two active complaints against Chief Paul that are pending before the civil service board. The complaints are that Chief Paul has violated criminal law and BRPD policy in his tenure as the chief and needs to be investigated. This is still pending before the civil service board. The latest is Chief Paul’s attorney filed a motion challenging the authority of the civil service board to investigate him. That motion is still pending as well.
Now, Sgt. Dauthier will help determine the fate of his fellow officers when it comes to discipline handed down by Chief Paul.
Sgt. Dauthier starts his appointment immediately, but needs to take the oath to be official.
The next civil service board meeting is scheduled for April 25th.