Fri, Feb 22, 2013
The Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board voted Thursday to delay indefinitely an appeal filed by former Cpl. Jeffrey Scott Webb. Before his own firing this week, former Police Chief Dewayne White had asked for a continuance in Webb’s case due to a change in attorneys representing the chief’s office.
White filed an appeal Thursday seeking an expedited hearing for his own termination. The Civil Service Board’s chairman, Sgt. Bryan Taylor, has said it’s not clear whether the board will hear White’s appeal before Webb’s.
Webb, 40, was fired for conduct unbecoming an officer about two months after he was arrested in Livingston Parish. Webb, who was 36 at the time of his arrest, had been accused of having sex with a teen while she was heavily intoxicated.
The victim’s mother reported to authorities she believed her daughter had been raped by a Baton Rouge police officer, authorities have said. Sheriff’s deputies investigated and charged Webb with one count of simple rape.
“The juvenile told internal affairs investigators that she had consumed several alcoholic drinks earlier, including both beer and vodka, and that she was ‘very drunk’ at the time,” former Police Chief Jeff LeDuff wrote in Webb’s termination letter.
Prosecutors charged Webb with indecent behavior with a juvenile in June 2009, according to court officials. He pleaded no contest in August 2010 to a reduced charge of misdemeanor carnal knowledge, court records show.
Webb was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay a $500 fine plus court costs. Assistant District Attorney Matthew Belser, of the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, said late Thursday he could not recall the reason the charge was reduced without referring to his notes.
Webb claims in his appeal to the Civil Service Board that his termination was not made in good faith. He is seeking back pay with interest.
“It’s my understanding that he went through the whole process, served his probation and was released from that and is coming to us to try to get his job back,” Taylor said.
Charlie Dirks, Webb’s attorney, declined comment Thursday. Webb could not be reached for comment.
A 13-year-veteran of the Police Department, Webb had been suspended on two prior occasions before his dismissal. The first suspension came after Webb was accused of giving false testimony during a pre-trial hearing.
Webb had arrested the boyfriend of his former girlfriend on a simple robbery charge and was called to testify in the case in August 2000, authorities have said. Webb claimed he found a crack pipe in the accused’s motel room, though he had not noted that in his arrest report.
A prosecutor doubted the testimony, authorities have said, and Webb later admitted to giving false testimony. He was suspended 15 days and appealed to the Civil Service Board, but he dropped the appeal before it was heard.
Webb was also suspended 10 days after the department received a complaint that he had made an obscene gesture at a female motorist and mouthed an obscenity while driving on Airline Highway, authorities have said. He denied the accusations, and the Civil Service Board later overturned his suspension.