by Bob Forward
Serial criminal or civil violations by Shreveport City Marshal Charlie Caldwell make him the model target for prosecutors. Failure of previous revelations should not mean that new prosecutions will not result.
KTBS reporter Gerry May reported today that Caldwell utilized intimidation and threats from deputies in an attempt to control employees and outside authorities who would not support his policies or iron-fisted control from his office. Those who spoke out or questioned his authority in any manner were summarily fired or a paper trail of violations were created in their records allowing Caldwell to terminate the employment of any offender.
Caldwell and previous Marshall Jimmy Dove had several federal cases for wrongful termination, to the extent that the office did create new policies to support severing uncooperative employees. However, a case is now challenging these policies as being used in an arbitrary or capricious manner to punish and were never designed for employee evaluation.
Caldwell’s office, and Caldwell in particular, is also in federal court for cases based on Caldwell’s security work at downtown night clubs. As claimed in one suit, Caldwell was an enforcer at Phoenix Underground who would beat patrons who failed to comply with policies of management. It is claimed that Caldwell personally beat a patron on multiple occasions.
Other claims against the Marshal’s office include financial mismanagement, and the office has failed to produce outside audits to the public. Caldwell informed KTBS that the most recent audit of 2012 would be available soon.Public record requests by attorney John Settle dating from 2011 are available through other stories on Forward-Now.com. Questionable issues involve the large clothing expenditures by Caldwell and one particularly outstanding issue is “How much did he claim on his federal income tax as a benefit from the thousands of dollars in clothing purchased by the department for him?”
Almost every deputy has a take-home vehicle, some have access to more than one! The Fuelman Gas Card records available (here is 2009#1–many more will soon be available for public view) created more questions than they answered. Many deputies were filling vehicles on a daily basis(2010 select documents here), yet questions about mileage indicated the office has multiple deputies serving warrants and transferring personnel on a daily basis. The numbers actually recorded do not support this contention. Complaints of City Marshal vehicles running the roads with no business destination persist.
The questions the public should have are quite simple:
- Have any of these allegations been the subject of local agency investigations?
- If not, why not?
- If KTBS could quickly disclose information, which appears accurate, why can’t prosecutorial officials find it, even after some was placed in the possession of a local district attorney?
- What other government entities should also be scrutinized in this manner?
Now, about the Shreveport City Marshal, he must go. Perhaps he will get to ride in the back seat of a Shreveport Marshal’s patrol car to jail.
NOTE: Litigation referenced in “Phoenix Underground” law suit naming Charlie Caldwell was inaccurate. It has been corrected. The proper link is HERE.