A decorated Shreveport police detective is suing Chief Willie Shaw and other high-ranking officers, saying they knew about the incidents taking place at Fire Station 8 several weeks before fire firefighters were arrested.

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The lawsuit, filed by SPD Detective Rod Demery, names Shaw individually and in his official capacity as Chief of Police of the City of Shreveport. Demery, a decorated detective, was assigned by Shaw in July 2013 to investigate allegations of acts of prostitution at Fire Station 8.

The lawsuit states: “On or about August 13, 2013, a credible witness voluntarily reported to the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office and advised the lead prosecutor, the FBI, the Louisiana State Police, and Detective Demery that several weeks prior to the arrest of any of the five firefighters who worked at Fire Station No. 8, Shaw, Deputy Chief Duane Huddleston, Assistant Chief Chipper Hayes, Captain Bill Offer, and Lt. Timothy Beckus had been personally advised about certain information regarding the prostitution incident and the the Fire Chief and other Fire Administration officials knew about the incident at Fire Station 8.

“Despite having specifically requested Detective Demery to investigate the incident at Fire Station 8, Shaw never told Detective Demery about the information provided to him about the prostitution incident at Fire Station 8.

“Despite receiving regular reports and supervising Detective Demery during the investigation, Captain Offer never told Detective Demery this information.  None of these SPD officials ever told any of the investigators with any of the agencies investigating this matter about this information that they had learned in 2013 prior to any arrests.  To the contrary, Shaw and Deputy Chief Huddleston had both claimed and testified under oath that they were only aware of a hypothetical situation posed by the Fire Chief.”

The lawsuit also states: “However, on August 13, 2013, just hours after the witness provided information to all of the investigating agencies that indicate that Shaw, Deputy Chief Huddleston, Assistant Chief Hayes, Captain Offer, and Lt. Beckus may not have been honest and are now potential suspects in additional derivative crimes, and not long after Capt. Offer was subpoenaed to the Grand Jury and then suddenly retired, Det. Demery was notified that he was being transferred out of the Detectives Office and sent back to evening patrol.”

The lawsuit also alleges that several actions were taken by his superiors to discredit Demery. Detective Demery alleges he has “suffered general compensatory damages, including but not limited to emotional damages, stress, and embarrassment inflicted upon him by the City, Shaw, Capt. Offer, Deputy Chief Huddleston, Asst. Chief Hayes, and Lt. Beckus in violation of the Louisiana Whistleblower Statute and he is entitled to compensatory damages for same.”

There is much more to the story, which will certainly be revealed in due time and the fallout could be significant.  Suffice it to say that lawsuit will be interesting to follow.

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