KILLIAN, LA (WAFB) - Killian Police Chief Dennis Hill was fired Tuesday night during a town hall meeting.
"I presented the case of the problems I had with him, the gift card and credit card usage, gas card usage," said Killian Mayor Craig McGehee. "The first time I wrote him up was for gas card usage. The second time was for credit card use."
Mayor McGehee says in the first case, Hill allegedly used the gas card to fill up a police unit and then took it to Florida.
"He should not have taken it to Florida. He had no business in Florida. It was a personal vacation, so he should have taken a personal vehicle. He also used the gas card to buy gas coming back home. That was the first letter of reprimand and it was over a year ago," said McGehee.
Then in January of 2017, the mayor says Hill allegedly used the town's credit card to buy a suit from Men's Wearhouse.
"I said the auditors are not going to understand why you're buying a suit from Men's Wearhouse when all the uniforms come from Guidry's. He said he could buy the suit cheaper at Men's Wearhouse than at Guidry's, and get the patches sewn on. I asked for a picture because I'm thinking the auditors are going to think what kind of police uniform are you buying at Men's Wearhouse, so I wanted a picture of the suit with patches sewn on. What he provided was a picture of a police jacket from Guidry's with all police patches, not the suit he bought from Men's Wearhouse," said McGehee.
The mayor says two people saw Hill buy the suit from Men's Wearhouse and told the mayor the picture he provided was not the suit he purchased.
"In the second letter of reprimand from this past January, I also put in it about a missing traffic ticket," said McGehee.
The mayor says someone called into town hall to pay a ticket, but they could not find the ticket. That led to them digging further into tickets.
"Another officer showed me where there were some very old tickets, like prior to me being mayor, stuffed under batteries used in the police radios and I said, 'That's not good.' That's when I got with the clerk and said, 'How many tickets are we missing?' We had asked Dennis to keep track of all the tickets. He didn't want to do that. He wanted to keep it in his leger. She looked back at tickets issued from the state between January 2015 to now. We found 198 tickets missing. Of that 198, 125 were missing," said McGehee.
The mayor explains each ticket book has 25 tickets and says the 125 tickets missing were five whole ticket books that were unaccounted for.
"The remaining 73 were non-sequential, meaning there were random tickets, not in order from the ticket books. He wasn't turning the tickets in for some reason. That's lost revenue," said McGehee.
The mayor requested those missing tickets. At the May meeting, the mayor says Hill provided some loose tickets and one ticket book, but they were from prior to 2015.
"That's when I said we're going to have a performance review at the June meeting," said McGehee. "In the meantime, we discovered he had put in for state overtime pay because we get gr ants to work weekends and do certain things. He had put in for state overtime and he was in Gulfshores, Alabama. They were hours worked, but they were hours worked by a reserve officer, not the chief."
Mayor McGehee says he recommended Hill be terminated. At Tuesday's meeting, the council voted 2-2 and the mayor casted the deciding vote to fire Hill.
Hill's termination was immediate. Killian's police department is now down to one full-time officer and some reserve officers. The mayor says the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office will help pick up the slack.
An interim chief has not been named and the mayor says a new council, that will be seated in July, will select a new chief.
The Legislative Auditor's Office has taken over the investigation. The mayor says they went to town hall Wednesday morning and seized both of Hill's computers, as well as his IPad, phone, overtime records, credit card and gas records, and all the information on the missing tickets.
Killian is a town of about 1,200 people. Calls to Hill were not returned.