State troopers disciplined for detours en route to training conference

Halen Doughty

Four state troopers have been disciplined after making side trips to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon on their way to a training conference in San Diego last year. The troopers involved have received notifications of the department's decisions based on an internal investigation. A captain and a lieutenant involved have been demoted.

An administrative investigation was conducted by the Louisiana State Police disciplinary committee, which is comprised of the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, and the Deputy Superintendents. The goal of the probe was to determine whether the officers violated any policies or travel regulations before, during, or after the incident.

Captain Derrell Williams was demoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Lt. Rodney Hyatt was demoted to the rank of Sergeant. Master Trooper Thurman Miller received a Letter of Reprimand. Trooper Alexandr Nezgodinsky was counseled.

State Police Superintendent Col. Kevin Reeves called the investigation "an unfortunate but necessary process. He said members of the department must hold themselves accountable before they can hold others accountable.

"One incident does not define us," Reeves said, "We will inevitably make mistakes, but together, our goal must be to promote an environment that is not only conducive to public service and cultivates professional development and growth but also maintains public confidence in our agency.”

Both the Governor's Office and the Legislative Auditor's Office launched their own investigations into the matter, amid allegations that some of the troopers may have received overtime pay during the excursions.

Former-Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson called for a probe as well, while some called for his resignation during the multi-agency investigation. After nine years at the helm of LSP, Edmonson did retire in March, before the end of the inquiry.

Follow Halen on Twitter: @LikeVanHalen