Decision reversed for LCPD Deputy Chief T.J. Bell - FOX29 Lake Charles


Decision reversed for LCPD Deputy Chief T.J. Bell

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(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)

A district court judge has reversed an April 2016 decision which reinstated a former deputy chief of the Lake Charles Police Department.

"It was disappointing, it was very disappointing and I strongly disagree with the Third Circuit's decision," said counsel for Bell, Todd Clemons. 

Deputy Chief T.J. Bell was fired in 2015 amid allegations that he allowed an employee under his command to be paid for time that she had not worked.

On the morning of April 8 of last year, Judge Sharon Wilson made her ruling to reinstate Bell and said common sense was the determining factor cited in her ruling.

"I feel like Judge Wilson's ruling was well reasoned and well-founded based upon the record and we are very disappointed the Third Circuit didn't agree with that," Clemons said.

But on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, Judge Van H. Kyzar, along with two other judges from the Third Circuit Court of Appeal, reversed Wilson's decision after an appeal from the city. Reinstating the Lake Charles Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board ruling.

"In no way are we excited about anything bad happening to TJ Bell or anyone else but it was important for the integrity of the police department and all the hard work our officers do to make sure that we showed in a court of law that their actions were appropriate and proper," said City of Lake Charles attorney, Billy Loftin. 

Costs of this appeal are assessed to Bell.

But Clemons said they're not giving up.

"We think the Third Circuit is wrong so we are going to keep fighting," he said.

To see the full Third Circuit Court opinion, click HERE.

Copyright KPLC 2017.  All rights reserved.

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