Liker resigns under pressure

Wade McIntyre

SORRENTO – The unpaid auxiliary reserve officer who acted as number two in command in the town police department under Chief Earl Theriot resigned Friday after town officials received information that he falsified his employment application.

In a heated executive session attended by a member of the Orleans Parish Metropolitan Crime Commission, Michael Ray Liker was confronted with a documented history of jobs he has held that were either falsified or omitted from his application to the town.

On his employment application Liker lists only being employed by the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office from 1995 to Feb. 1, 2008.

“I was glad he resigned,” Mayor Brenda Melancon said. “He deceived us.”

Liker was also accused of threatening around town to arrest Councilwoman Troy Braud after she obtained a copy of his employment application from Theriot. The document is a public record.

The council, Melancon, Theriot and town attorney Greg Lambert met with Crime Commission Vice President Anthony Radosti and Liker’s attorney during the session.

Radosti presented a letter of complaint to Melancon requesting an investigation into the employment process used by Theriot and the police department to hire Liker.

Liker has a documented history of employment with several law enforcement agencies that the Crime Commission believes was omitted from his Sorrento application because it would possibly disqualify him as an officer in the town, the letter said.

The letter further stated Liker was employed as a deputy between October 1991 and April 1992 as a deputy sheriff with the St. Charles Police Department. While there, Liker was arrested on two counts of extortion and two counts of malfeasance in office by investigating officers Sgt. Robert Dale and Captain Jules Tarullo.

Liker was indicted for one count of criminal conspiracy and six counts of extortion (St. Charles Parish case number 92-0585), and later pleaded guilty on a reduced charge of one count of malfeasance in office. He was sentenced by Judge Mary Ann Vail Lemmon to five years in prison which was suspended and placed on two years probation, according to the letter.

In 2001 Liker was employed with the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff’s Office as a reserve deputy and promoted to the rank of Captain in charge of the Reserve Division, where he was allowed to work on paid detail jobs as a reservist.

The letter states the Crime Commission received an anonymous complaint that Liker failed to tell the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff’s Office he had worked for the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office, or that he was either fired, terminated or resigned from the office, or that he was convicted of malfeasance in office.

In the letter, the crime commission requested that Sorrento officials conduct a complete investigation to find out how Liker could be employed and move into a supervisory position without his past history being considered.

While at Sorrento, Liker applied for a job to the Jefferson Parish Law Enforcement Agency in early February of this year, Radosti told The Weekly Citizen Friday.

In a repeat of his employment application to Sorrento, Liker failed to disclose his previous employment record and the malfeasance conviction that was expunged from his record after his two years of probation were ended, Radosti said.

In the packet which Radosti presented during the executive session, and which was obtained by the Citizen, Radosti said Liker also was employed during his career at the Golden Meadow Police Department and the Tulane Medical Police Department.

During the Thursday executive session, the council members also terminated unpaid reserve officer Matthew Mills and gave another employee in the police department a chance to go to anger management classes while on probation.