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National Guard Make-Up New Orleans police chief resigns amid ethics probe

New Orleans police chief resigns amid ethics probe

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana – A new chief of police in New Orleans is stepping down amid a widening probe into whether he improperly took gifts from a city official, a law enforcement source told Reuters.

The source declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

The new chief is Richard J. Hogue, who was sworn in in January.

Hynes, a former assistant police chief in New York City, was hired by the city on April 20 to replace former Chief Charles Douglass, who stepped down in March.

Douglass resigned in March after a review found he took gifts valued at more than $300,000 from a lobbyist and campaign donor.

Police Chief Jerome Hynes speaks at a news conference in New Jersey in this file photo from April 2, 2021.

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst The Ethics Commission of New Orleans has been looking into Hynes’ gifts, and the city’s top prosecutor, Joseph Mancini, is expected to call the ethics commission’s findings into question.

The commissioner’s office declined to comment on the matter.

A former New Orleans city council member said Hynes had been taking gifts for more than two years.

The gifts included a $250,000 Rolex watch, which Hynes did not return after leaving office in 2015, the source told the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said Hinkses departure came as a surprise.

“He has not taken any gifts for over two years,” Landrieux said.

Hines salary was reported in January 2016.

Houses compensation is now being investigated by the mayor’s office, the New York Daily News reported.

Hays salary is not publicly known, and it is not clear whether he will be fired.

Landrieus’ office said in a statement that Hynes was relieved of his duties in mid-January.

The mayor’s spokesman said Landrieuses office had no further comment.

Police Commissioner Joseph Mascia said Hys salary was paid with city money, not the mayor or city funds.

He said he would have no comment.

Hys compensation was reported to the city, which will have to investigate the matter as soon as possible.

The investigation began after the newspaper published a story in November that identified Douglass as a lobbyist for the city.

A New Orleans Police Department official told Reuters in a phone interview on Friday that the probe was being handled by the Office of the Independent Monitor, a watchdog agency that oversees the department.

The Independent Monitor has jurisdiction over matters involving city departments and employees, such as internal discipline.

The probe into Hays compensation is being led by the New England Regional Intelligence Center, an office of the FBI.

Hens salary was first reported in April 2016, according to a police department spokesman.

The city’s ethics commission is investigating Hynes for misuse of city funds, as well as possible violations of the city charter, which bans the use of public funds to make political contributions.

Hents salary is also being investigated.

Sources: Associated Press, Reuters, New Orleans, New York Times, Police Department

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