Caddo Animal Services director resigns following probe into alleged unprofessional behavior
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Caddo Animal Services and Mosquito Control Director Everett Harris has resigned, according to a brief statement released by Caddo Parish Administrator Woody Wilson, Jr.
"Everett Harris, Caddo Parish Animal Services Director, has resigned his employment with the Parish of Caddo effective December 1, 2015. He will be on protected leave until December 1, 2015. The search for the next director will start immediately.
We thank him for his service and wish him well in all his endeavors."
The statement came late Friday afternoon, a day after KSLA News 12 confirmed that a management consultant hired by the Caddo Commission has completed an inquiry into an allegation of unprofessional behavior by Harris.
The inquiry, launched at the end of August, took nearly 2 months because "personal personnel issues regarding Harris" popped up during the probe, according to Commission President Lyndon B. Johnson.
A third-party company was hired by parish administration to investigate after Harris admitted to posting a picture that many called offensive on the official Animal Services Facebook page. He later claimed he didn't create it. And the page has since been deactivated.
The photo, posted Aug. 25, is of a newspaper clipping with symbols scrawled on it. The clipping features dogs up for adoption in Caddo with the Star of David drawn in red ink on their faces and Nazi symbols drawn in black marker over their heads. Harris later called the post "an accident" and explained that he did not create the photo.
Harris has been on paid administrative leave since Aug. 26.
Local rescue organizations and citizens have rallied and circulated a petition demanding Harris' firing or resignation, citing an ongoing problem with Harris' management of Caddo Animal Services and Mosquito Control and his interactions with the public and animal rescue volunteers.
Wilson told KSLA News 12 in late August that the findings of the investigation would be reviewed in a pre-disciplinary conference, during which Harris would be able to have an attorney present.
While the findings of the investigation itself and the pre-disciplinary conference would be closed to the public, Wilson said the resulting decisions or any actions taken would be released.
Copyright 2015 KSLA. All rights reserved.