What if you had a campaign sign in your yard? And an officer in uniform comes up in his squad car and asks why you support that candidate -- and not his boss? Some Shreveport residents say that's what happened to them, and they're a bit startled.

"All us think there (was) something wrong," Jerry Moore says.

He and his neighbor, Willie Fields, were alarmed when they saw Carl Richard, a chief deputy with the city marshal's office, stop to ask questions. They say Richard wanted to know why all the shotgun homes in back of the city marshal's office had campaign signs for Don Otis, one of the marshal's opponents in next year's election.

"It was like harassment to us. You know what I'm saying? Really like harassment," Moore says.

"I was scared of him," Fields said of the deputy. "I didn't know what he was doing."

Richard at first denied to KTBS that he was the deputy in question. But later, in an interview he admitted it was him who stopped. But he says he only talked to women at one home.

"I stopped by and I asked them what did Marshal Caldwell do to lose your support, because you had his signs up here the last election," Richard says.

But Fields and Moore tells different story. They say Richard talked to more residents, and never tried to get them to support Caldwell instead. They say Richard was wanting to know if Otis had gotten permission to put signs up on their property.

"I feel like that's very unprofessional during this campaign," Otis says of Richard's actions. "We're running a first class campaign. We will not place a sign anywhere without having permission prior to placing that sign."

Otis says residents also gave him approval to tack the signs up on their homes to make them harder to steal. They originally stood in the front grass.

"We have had some signs to be removed after being placed in some locations. Not sure who's responsible," Otis says.

"We don't touch signs," Richard answered.

As for his zeal to help the campaign of Marshal Caldwell, Richard said, "This is my boss. I'm going to support my boss 110 percent."

Richard says he didn't do anything illegal or unethical. KTBS has not received a reply from the U.S. Attorney's office on whether his actions violated voter intimidation laws.

Marshal Caldwell did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

This is not the first time KTBS has reported on Richard's actions when it comes to his boss' opponents. In July, we had the story of Joey Hester, a former marshal's deputy who is running against his old boss. He showed us a text message Richard sent to Hester's new boss, the Caddo Parish Constable, warning that Hester could be charged for making a false arrest at his job moonlighting store security.

Hester produced a commission card that he said allows him to work as a law enforcement officer outside the constable's office. Richard blamed Shreveport Police for the warning. But the SPD said it was all news to them.

Richard has his own campaign to worry about. He's running again next year for marshal in Bossier City after losing to Lynn Austin in 2010.


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