A fired deputy says his former boss, Shreveport City Marshal Charlie Caldwell -- or someone in his office -- is trying to intimidate him. That's after an ominous email warning Joey Hester he was about to be arrested.
It's the latest in what appears to be retribution from the marshal against deputies who aren't in lockstep with him.
Hester showed me the email that was forwarded to him on his phone from his new boss at the Cad do Constable's Office. The message originated from Carl Richard, a chief deputy at Hester's old job at the Marshal's office.
Hester read from part of the message: "The Shreveport Police are going to arrest Joey for false arrest, false imprisonment, since he was out of his jurisdiction."
It stems from Hester's recent arrest of a shoplifter at Dillard's, where Hester moonlights as a security guard -- something he also did when he worked for the city marshal. Hester also showed me his newly issued commission card, which he says allows him to act is a law enforcement officer outside the constable's office -- like any other officer. That would make the warning on his phone that he'd be arrested baseless.
"I really just think it's intimidation, is the only thing I can figure. I don't know," Hester says. "I'm just trying to make a living."
Carl Richard told me the threat of arrest came straight from the SPD -- not the marshal's office -- and he declined further comment. But the SPD says they've not made any kind of move to arrest Hester.
Richard's boss, City Marshal Charlie Caldwell, told me he has no knowledge of the email.
Hester responded, saying, "If you have no knowledge, your office is running wild,or if you have knowledge you're not telling the truth about it. one of the two is happening."
Hester was let go from the marshal's office last Monday. He says Caldwell told him it was because of a five percent budget cut from the city. The problem with that story is: the city CAO says they haven't touched Caldwell's budget. When I called Caldwell about that, he said, "No comment," and hung up.
Hester, who has 32 years of law enforcement experience, says he had a series of demotions under Caldwell. He'd been making plans to run for Caldwell's job in next year's election, and had expressed professional disagreements.
Says Hester, "I guess through those opinions I'm not there anymore."
Neither are Cornell Wilson and Dennis Buckingham. Wilson successfully sued Caldwell in federal court, winning a judgement of nearly 113-thousand dollars. He claimed Caldwell fired him the day after Caldwell's election in 2008 because Wilson did not support him.
Buckingham has just filed a similar suit against Caldwell, claiming he was fired because he testified on behalf of Wilson.
Buckingham now works for the DeSoto Sheriff's Office. Wilson now works for the Caddo Sheriff's Office.
Their attorney, Pamela Jones, says Marshal Caldwell violated the men's rights to free speech.
As for Hester; he says he has now filed with the state his intentions to form a campaign committee and run against Caldwell in next year's election.
Retired SPD Lt. Don Otis is also in the marshal's race.
Caldwell did not respond to another attempt for comment.
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