Now-removed Bossier City police chief prepares to challenge the decision

Estess’ attorney said he was not given proper notice of the board meeting regarding his removal
Chris Estess, shown here when he was sworn in as Bossier City police chief, plans to challenge...
Chris Estess, shown here when he was sworn in as Bossier City police chief, plans to challenge his removal from that position, his attorney says. (KSLA News 12 file photo)
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 5:46 PM CDT
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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) - Days after the Bossier City Municipal Fire & Police Civil Service Board voted to remove Chris Estess as police chief, his attorney said they plan to ask the board to reconsider.

According to state law, the person up for removal should be notified and afforded “an opportunity to be heard.” However, Estess’ attorney said he was not given notice and, therefore, could not present his case.

During Friday’s meeting, the city attorney cited several reasons for his removal, including a “consistent failure” to communicate departmental decisions to the mayor, a “consistent failure” to manage/supervise his personnel and absences during normal business hours.

They claim that some of those issues enabled the alleged illegal activity of Harold B.J. Sanford, who was arrested by the FBI for embezzling and drug charges.

Monday, KSLA tried to get in contact with the city several times — via email, phone, and in person — to ask basic questions related to the police chief’s removal. When calling the mayor’s office, the phone rang several times before hanging up each time, without the opportunity to leave a voicemail. KSLA was looking to find out how a new chief would be selected, what some of the communication issues were and the how they believe Estess’ actions may have enabled Sanford to allegedly commit those crimes.

The public information officer told KSLA they were working with city administration to release information. By 5 p.m., the city would only confirm that Estess was still working for the department and would make no further comment:

“The only comment regarding the status of Chris Estess is that he is still employed with the Bossier City Police Department. There will not be any additional statements regarding his removal as Chief of Police of Bossier City. The administration is standing by the statement released last Friday.”