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.
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.
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.
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.