SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Court documents reveal allegations that Shreveport's fire chief was less than cooperative with the investigation into alleged criminal activity involving at least 3 firefighters at Fire Station No. 8.
The 3 firefighters arrested so far in the ongoing investigation are each charged with one count each of cruelty to the infirm and principal to prostitution. 23-year veteran Captain Derrick Harris remains in custody at the Caddo Correctional Center. 4-year veteran firefighter Clint Richardson and Fire Engineer Billy Glass have bonded out.
The documents also reveal disturbing details about the alleged prostitution incident itself. The station's Captain, Derrick Harris, is accused of soliciting a prostitute for a 58-year-old mentally disabled man who had for decades been a regular at the fire station and ordered him to have sex with her while three other firefighters watched. The firefighters allegedly "pitched" in to pay for the prostitute. In addition to Capt. "Spiderman" Derrick Harris, the affidavit names Richardson, Glass and two others as being present at the time.
According to a timeline released by the Shreveport Fire Department on Tuesday night, a complaint letter was received by the department on June 25, which prompted a formal internal investigation involving 5 firefighters. Fire Chief Craig Mulford was notified of possible criminal conduct at Fire Station #8 on July 29, and met with an SPD detective and the FBI regarding the possible criminal investigation the next day.
Mulford said in a news conference on Tuesday that his department is "fully cooperating with the investigation and taking the proper disciplinary steps as they proceed."
But according to an affidavit filed on August 5 in Caddo District Court requesting an arrest warrant for Clint Richardson, Chief Mulford "ordered an FBI special agent from city property, forbidding the special agent from interviewing the reporting party." The affidavit also claims Mulford ordered the "reporting party," also a Shreveport Fire Department employee, not to talk to investigators.
The affidavit also indicates that Mulford was aware of the alleged incident a full week before the timeline released by SFD claims. It says that Mulford questioned the firefighters implicated in the June 14 incident on June 22, and that they all denied the allegations.
Mulford allegedly told the detective that the incident was merely a rumor, and that the "reporting party" was a disgruntled employee dissatisfied with the administration. At the news conference Tuesday, Mulford said that this was an isolated incident that reportedly happened at one station, on one shift.
In addition to the prostitution allegations, other incidents of hazing are alleged in the documents, both of the 58-year-old fire station "mascot" and another mentally challenged man described as being 40 years old "with the mind of an 8 or 9 year old."
The reported "hazing" incidents include the men being left being left on the rooftop of the fire station without a ladder, being forced to drink human urine and one of them having to beg on his knees for beer.
All questions relating to the firefighter investigation, including requests for comment from Chief Mulford on these new details, have now been directed to the mayor's office. Mayor's office spokesperson Rod Richardson has declined comment, saying he has not seen the court documents.