Mulford pleads not guilty to malfeasance in office - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Mulford pleads not guilty to malfeasance in office

Ronald Craig Mulford, 50 (Source: Caddo Correctional Center) Ronald Craig Mulford, 50 (Source: Caddo Correctional Center)
James Thomas Carpenter, 59 (Source: Caddo Correctional Center) James Thomas Carpenter, 59 (Source: Caddo Correctional Center)
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Shreveport Fire Department chief Craig Mulford has pleaded not guilty to five counts of malfeasance in office.

Mulford and assistant chief Tommy Carpenter were arraigned in a Caddo Parish courtroom Tuesday morning in connection with the scandal at Station 8. Carpenter, who is charged with perjury, also pleaded not guilty. 

Mulford was indicted last month. 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.

Carpenter's indictment says that his initial testimony before a Caddo Parish grand jury in March said that Shreveport Fire Chief Ronald Craig Mulford told Carpenter that neither Carpenter or his men could talk to law enforcement without getting prior approval from the fire department. 

Then, a little more than a month later, Carpenter recanted that testimony and testified that he [Carpenter] did not think he was ever instructed by any of his superiors not to talk to law enforcement without getting prior approval from the fire department. 

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.

Mulford was appointed fire chief three years ago.

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