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BILL OF RIGHTS

05-01-2003 (03-0095) http://www.laag.org/ShowDoc.asp?DocID=17653
Issued to the Honorable Ruth Fontenot, Mayor of the City of New Iberia, defines when an investigation begins: The opinion made the following statement:

In accord with Opinion 93-52, our interpretation of R. S. 40:2531 reflects that an investigation begins when an authorized person begins to make inquiry or collect evidence concerning a situation with an officer where the end result is "with a view to possible disciplinary action, demotion, or dismissal."

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12-31-2002 (02-0467) http://www.laag.org/ShowDoc.asp?DocID=17520
Issued to Chief Jerry Agnew in Bogalusa, quoted LSA-R.S. 40:2531 (B)(1), then made the following statement:

The statutory language noted above makes it clear that whether an investigation has resulted in a "validated" complaint is not controlling on the issue of when an officer must be advised he/she is under investigation. A police officer under investigation must be so advised at that point where the officer is interrogated regarding the subject matter of the investigation. Because the statute is protective of rights, the term "interrogated" must be broadly construed to include questioning of any nature about the "complaint" without regard to how formal or informal the questioning may be.

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06-03-2004(04-180) http://www.laag.org/ShowDoc.asp?DocID=17520
Issued to Senator Donald R. Cravins, made the following statement: :

Any firefighter under disciplinary investigation has a right to protection of an attorney at the interrogation stage.

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07-18-2008(08-0052) http://www.laag.org/ShowDoc.asp?DocID=17520
Issued to Mr. Jason Boudreaux, Chairman of the Lafayette Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board, made the following statement:

Any discipline, demotion or dismissal taken against a law enforcement officer or a fire employee in violation of the sixty-day time frame imposed on investigations is an absolute nullity.

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01-29-2009(08-0291) http://www.laag.org/ShowDoc.asp?DocID=17520
Issued to Mr. Ron Melton, Chairman of the Winnfield Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board, made the following statement:

An investigation of a fire employee or a municipal law enforcement officer, where the end result is disciplinary action, demotion or dismissal, must be concluded sixty days from the day an authorized person begins to make inquiry or collect evidence regarding that fire employee or municipal law enforcement officer. Where an investigation of a municipal law enforcement officer is prompted by a formal written complaint, the chief of police must initiate the investigation within fourteen days of the department's receipt of the written complaint.

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11-20-2013(13-0146) http://www.laag.org/ShowDoc.asp?DocID=17520
Issued to the Honorable Mayson Foster, Mayor of the City of Hammond, made the following statement:

The city of Hammond may not discipline a police officer for his refusal to answer questions during a civil administrative investigation which failed to comply with the minimum standards mandated by La. R.S. 40:2531 (B), otherwise known as the police officer’s bill of rights.

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03-19-2014(13-0207) http://www.laag.org/ShowDoc.asp?DocID=17520
Issued to Mr. Robert Lawrence, State Examiner, made the following statement:

The provisions of La. R.S. 33:2181 (Fire Fighters’ Bill of Rights) and La. R.S. 40:2531 (Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights) are applicable to the municipal fire and police civil service board whenever it conducts investigations of fire or police classified employees with a view to disciplinary action. The provisions of La. R.S. 40:2531 are applicable to the municipal fire and police civil service board whenever it conducts investigations of police classified employees with a view to disciplinary action. The phrase “police employees as defined by La. R.S. 40:1372(5),” as used in La R.S. 40:2531, applies only to police personnel employed by the Division of State Police in the Department of Public Safety. The phrase “law enforcement officers employed by any municipality,” as used in La. R.S. 40:2531, applies to all police employees, including the elected or appointed head of a law enforcement department, who are authorized to make arrests, perform searches and seizures, or execute criminal warrants, and who are responsible for the prevention or detection of crime or for the enforcement of the penal, traffic, or highway laws of this state.

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05-20-2014(13-0227) http://www.laag.org/ShowDoc.asp?DocID=17520
Issued to Mr. J. Isaac Funderburk, City Attorney (Abbeville) and Mr. Robert Lawrence, State Examiner, made the following statement:

La. R.S. 40:2531 requires the recording of any questioning of a police employee or law enforcement officer during a pre-disciplinary hearing conducted by the appointing authority. Such questioning, provided it arises out of the conduct which the police employee has been noticed is the subject of the hearing, would not constitute a new investigation under La. R.S. 40:2531. Lastly, municipal fire and police civil service boards have the same power and authority as a district court to subpoena witnesses and compel the production of books and papers pertinent to any authorized investigation or hearing.