In the blink of an eye, A longtime Shreveport city marshal goes from protecting the public as an officer of the law to an inmate at Caddo Correctional Center, accused of trying to fix someone's traffic ticket.
Shreveport City Marshal Deputy Carl Richard, Jr., faces charges of forgery, injuring a public record and filing false public records, all felonies. Police Chief Henry Whitehorn told us, "I'm not sure if it was a speeding ticket that was reduced to a seat belt violation, but it was a moving violation that was reduced to a non-movement violation."
Video of Richard in February of 2007 showed him helping in a live report, demonstrating how quick a burglar can take valuables out of your home. Right now, Richard's charges stem from changes made to one traffic ticket. But Chief Whitehorn added, "so without revealing the investigation, I would prefer leaving it with what he was charged with."
Caddo District Attorney Paul Carmouche said his office recused itself in Richard's case, knowing it could bring some criticism. "I've never really liked the criticism we sometimes get like, 'well, they can't clean-up their own house. They gotta get the feds to clean house for 'em.' Well, that's not always the case and it's probably better that way."
The Louisiana Attorney General's office took over the case. Carmouche explained why this helps in such a tight-knight legal community, from police to prosecutors. "We are having to work with other elected officials on a daily basis. It's difficult to have meetings with those people and also be investigating them."
Chief Whitehorn said he spoke personally with Shreveport's new Chief City Marshal Charlie Caldwell about the case. "In fact, Marshal Caldwell is the one that had Mr. Richard come in, turn himself in," added Whitehorn.
This is not Richard's first time behind bars. Back in October 2001, Shreveport Police arrested him on a charge of aggravated battery. They accused him of causing "questionable injuries," during an arrest. But prosecutors dismissed those charges several months later because of 'insufficient evidence.'
Richard is now out on 150-thousand dollars bond.