Civil Service Board upholds firing of ousted Denham Springs police captain

Denham Springs Civil Service Board (Source: WAFB)
Denham Springs Civil Service Board (Source: WAFB)

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - After less than an hour of deliberations behind closed doors, the Denham Springs Civil Service Board voted 4-1 Thursday to uphold the termination
of a former police captain.

Steve Kistler was fired back in April, alongside Chief Scott Jones, over the department's handling of a domestic violence case involving City Councilman Chris Davis.

"Captain Kistler had a good reputation and a good career with the City of Denham Springs, but he did something that wasn't right and the mayor felt like he had no choice but to terminate this good employee," said Christopher Moody, a special council for the City of Denham Springs.

Davis, 40, was arrested and booked on February 11 after he was accused of domestic abuse that happened on January 15. He was booked into the Livingston Parish Jail. He posted a $1,500 bond and was released.

However, Davis was not arrested the night of the incident. Rather, he was issued a citation, which led some to question whether this was a violation of protocol.

That question led to an internal affairs investigation into Jones and Kistler. In the report that followed, the investigation found Jones failed to follow a direct order from the mayor telling him to follow the letter of the law.

"This is a case of small town politics, not a case of police gone bad," said Steve LeBlanc, Kistler's attorney.

LeBlanc said he was not surprised by the board's ruling. Back in June, the same panel upheld the firing of the chief.

The one member of the panel that objected to the mayor's choice to fire Kistler said he felt the punishment was too severe.

Like with the police chief, this fight is not over. Kistler's lawyer plans to file an appeal with the 21st Judicial District Court. Moody said he is confident the board's decision will be upheld.

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