SFD chief charged in felony indictment on one-week leave - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

SFD chief charged in felony indictment on one-week administrative leave

Posted: Updated: Jul 10, 2014 07:25 PM
Ronald Craig Mulford, 50 (Source: Caddo Correctional Center) Ronald Craig Mulford, 50 (Source: Caddo Correctional Center)
Shreveport Fire Chief Craig Mulford turned himself in at the Caddo Correctional Center shortly after Noon on Thursday, after a grand jury handed up 2 sealed indictments in connection with the sex and abuse scandal at Fire Station 8. Shreveport Fire Chief Craig Mulford turned himself in at the Caddo Correctional Center shortly after Noon on Thursday, after a grand jury handed up 2 sealed indictments in connection with the sex and abuse scandal at Fire Station 8.
Randy Chandler; Billy Glass; Jason Vaughan; Derrick Harris; and Clint Richardson (Source: Shreveport Police Department/Caddo Parish Correctional Center) Randy Chandler; Billy Glass; Jason Vaughan; Derrick Harris; and Clint Richardson (Source: Shreveport Police Department/Caddo Parish Correctional Center)
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover says indicted SFD Chief Craig Mulford will be placed on one week of administrative leave, following his indictment Thursday morning on felony charges in connection with the scandal at Station 8.

Glover says that leave can be extended. In the meantime, Deputy Chief Tom Self will assume the chief's responsibilities in Mulford's absence. 

A second person was also indicted, but remains unidentified because the indictments were sealed. Mulford's name became public when he was arrested.

Mulford, who was appointed to fire chief 3 years ago, turned himself in and was booked into the Caddo Correctional Center early Thursday afternoon on five counts of malfeasance in office. Each charge has a bond of $5,000. 

Glover addressed the charges against Mulford in a news conference at 6 p.m. Thursday, announcing that he has ordered an internal investigation to determine whether the fire chief has violated any department policy. Glover explained that the investigation will be conducted by the Internal Affairs Division of the Shreveport Police Department, "In light of the fact that this is a chief and we believe that anybody within the fire department would be appropriately conflicted out in terms of being able to conduct this investigation."

Under state and city statute, the investigation must be completed within 60 days. As appointing authority, those findings will be submitted to Glover for review and he says he will determine the appropriate action to take from there.

The indictment alleges Mulford failed to report the abuse of a mentally challenged man to police or the Louisiana Department of Health and Human Services, failing to report to law enforcement that a crime may have occurred, "and by undertaking a sham investigation himself all in order to conceal from fire personnel, law enforcement personnel, and to the general public the fact that the act of prostitution had in fact occurred. 

In court documents related to the firefighter's arrests, the investigator claimed that Mulford dismissed the initial accusations as rumor, and even ordered an FBI special agent who was investigating reports of abuse, off of city property. The secret indictment handed up Thursday also alleges that Mulford "refused to allow Shreveport Fire Captain Gary Roan to speak with a Special Agent Kyle Roberts and La. State Police Sgt. Jay Perry about the act of prostitution at Fire Station 8 to which Mulford had prior knowledge when Special Agent Roberts and Sgt. Perry saw Captain Road was off duty."

According to an affidavit filed on August 5, 2013 in Caddo District Court requesting an arrest warrant for Clint Richardson, 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.

That affidavit also indicated 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.

Shortly after Mulford's release from CCC, his attorney Paul Carmouche met with reporters to make a brief statement. "Pretty disgusted that these charges were actually brought against the fire chief, after 32 years of good service. A good chief." 

"It's our understanding that there have been 3 law enforcement agencies investigating what they think is some sort of wrongdoing in the case involving Station 8," Carmouche continued, going on to point out that Mulford is not involved or charged with any of the abuse involving the 2 mentally-challenged men. 

Carmouche indicated that a disgruntled employee was behind the allegations, and that person was angry with Chief Mulford.

"This disgruntled employee had made statements she was going to get the chief, she was going to burn him, and that's what the DA's Office is depending on in this case. I tell you, I can't believe this is happening," said Carmouche.

The only comment Mulford gave was in response to KSLA News 12's Fred Childers asking if the chief could say how he is feeling. "Let me tell you this, this is what I'll say, and hopefully you'll put this on the air: This too is the day that the Lord has made, and I'm going to rejoice and be glad in it. That's all I have to say." 

So far, the name and charges against the second person indicted has not been released, but he is believed to be another member of the fire department administration.

Caddo Parish Assistant District Attorney Dale Cox confirmed late Thursday morning that Judge John Mosely issued 2 bench warrants for the individuals indicted, and set bond at $10,000 for one and $25,000 for the other. 

Jason Vaughan, former engineers Clint Richardson and Billy Glass, and former captains Derrick Harris and Randy Chandler are accused of abusing two adults with disabilities at Fire Station 8.

Police say the firefighters subjected two adults who were regular visitors there to cruel pranks over the last few years. Among other things, the victims were allegedly left stranded on the roof of the fire station and forced to drink human urine. All but Chandler are also accused of paying a prostitute to have sex with one of the developmentally disabled men.

A Caddo Parish judge is set to make a ruling next month on motions to throw out the statements of some of the firefighters accused. He said in a news conference in August that his department was cooperating with the investigation.

An August 18 trial date was set earlier this year. The men face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

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