Last Modified: Friday, April 05, 2013 9:23 AM
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that because an investigation into former Police Chief Bobby Hickman was not completed within the proper timeframe, the City of Leesville was wrong to have fired him on Jan. 28, 2011.
The appeals court ruled that the investigation should have been completed within 60 days of its beginning, by Jan. 4, 2011.
However, in a letter dated Jan. 6, Leesville notified Hickman that it had hired Mark Sheridan to investigate.
“We reverse Mr. Hickman’s termination and render judgment reinstating his employment retroactive to the date of his original termination and awarding him full pay and benefits from the date of his reinstatement, together with legal interest thereon until paid,” the appeals court said.
The 3rd Circuit also ordered Leesville to pay $2,590 for the costs of proceedings.
The City of Leesville sent notice to Hickman on Nov. 5 that it was investigating him, saying he was “alleged to have committed acts contrary to the Laws of the State of Louisiana and or the United States of America.”
Hickman pleaded guilty in federal court in June to having a firearm with an obliterated serial number.
In August, he was accused of taking money from the city’s D.A.R.E. program and charged with felony theft over $1,500 and malfeasance in office.
In October, he was sentenced on the firearms charge to 46 months in prison and ordered to make restitution for a stolen sawed-off shotgun found at his residence.
The appeals court said Hickman claimed that he learned of his firing in the newspaper on Feb. 2, 2011, and did not receive written notice by mail until Feb. 9.
Hickman appealed saying the investigation had not been completed within the proper timeframe.
Hickman “argues that he did not receive the procedural protections that he is entitled to as a civil service employee and under the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights,” the 3rd Circuit said.
A lower court upheld the city’s decision.
In explaining its decision to reverse, the appeals court cited a statute that reads “Any discipline, demotion, dismissal, or adverse action of any sort whatsoever taken against a police employee or law enforcement officer without complete compliance with the foregoing minimum standards is an absolute nullity.”
The 3rd Circuit said the actions taken against Hickman were “an absolute nullity.”
Posted By: Jack Pinsaw On: 4/11/2013
Title: Loss of Confidence
The man is a liar, and convicted felon...do you REALLY want him as your chief? I'm sure most of my fellow officers in LPD do not want to go back in time with this megalomaniac of a non-leader. The things that he allowed to transpire in LPD will not soon be forgotten and if he is reappointed it will only be a slap in the face to all of the present officers who have tried to overcome his misconduct. Get a grip...Greg Hill is the chief now and has done more for the LPD thsan Hickman did during his entire time in office...
Posted By: K. Johnson On: 4/11/2013
Not every cop is a bad cop. Sure we all make mistakes. I didmt realize until recently that removing a serial number from a fire arm was a crime. Im glad Bobby Hickman is getting back what was wrongfully taken away from him by lies of others and the hatred certain political figures in my home town had against him. Ive known him almost my entire life and my moyher worked for him over 15 years as his Lt. God doesnt like ugly. And finally the city looks like its soon to get back what it deserves for all the wrong doings done unto Hickman. L.P.D. needs a lot of work noq since the loss of their chief. Hurry home Hickman. There's a lot of us in the community that need you to get things back and running like they were in the good old days.
Posted By: Michelle On: 4/5/2013
And who wants to work in police business with a crook.