I-TEAM: Jackson deputy allowed to resign amid stalking arrest

Deputy Travis Clay Depew with the Jackson Marshal’s Office was allowed to resign Friday, July 21, 2023, the WAFB I-TEAM has learned.
Published: Jul. 24, 2023 at 11:31 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 24, 2023 at 5:33 PM CDT
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WEST FELICIANA PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Deputy Travis Clay Depew with the Jackson Marshal’s Office was allowed to resign Friday, July 21, 2023, the WAFB I-TEAM has learned.

When reached by phone Monday morning, someone in the Jackson Town Hall confirmed the resignation happened sometime early Friday morning but it’s unclear if the resignation happened before or after he was arrested and booked in the West Feliciana Parish Detention Center on a misdemeanor stalking charge.

“He’s innocent until proven guilty but stalking charges at their core are someone that doesn’t take no for an answer,” said legal analyst Franz Borghardt.

RELATED: Deputy marshal booked on stalking charge

Depew was later released the same day on a $25,000 bond.

Friday afternoon, Depew’s supervisor with the Jackson Marshal’s Office, Chief Deputy Robert Sanders, confirmed Depew was still employed. At this time, it’s unclear if the resignation was known throughout the department at that time. Sanders told the WAFB I-TEAM he had no further comment as of Friday afternoon.

This latest arrest comes while Depew was already on probation after being charged and convicted of a misdemeanor count of simple battery after choking a teen at a gas station. He returned to work after that conviction and was given a one-year probation period which began in January 2023.

WAFB’s Scottie Hunter asked Borghardt if Depew should be in law enforcement given his multiple run-ins with the law.

“I don’t know if he deserves it or not but it certainly raises the question mark of when is enough going to be enough,” said Borghardt. “If you’re not going to fire someone on the first arrest or fire them on the second arrest, at what point and like what do they need to do for you to take it seriously?”

Borghardt says the concern now is that because Depew was allowed to resign instead of being fired, he might pop up at another law enforcement agency despite his legal trouble.

“In this case there’s a high enough profile nature to the case that I don’t think he’ll be able to hop scotch so to speak to the next law enforcement agency but it’s possible and it’s alway a possibility when you do a quiet disposition of employment like that,” Borghardt added.

Depew has been the subject of a number of WAFB reports in recent years. The I-TEAM exposed a prior stalking and malfeasance in office charge from 2017 when he worked for the Pointe Coupee Sheriff’s Office. Those charges were eventually expunged from his record. He was later fired from the Pointe Coupee Sheriff’s Office as a result of those charges before being hired with the Jackson Marshal’s Office.

“A law enforcement agency that does investigations for a living, it feels like they should better vet their police officers,” said Borghardt. “The other issue that you need to be concerned about is, was this a nepotism hire where yeah, he got fired from Pointe Coupee but we’re going to hire him because he knows somebody that knows somebody that knows somebody. That happens all the time.”

When WAFB called the Jackson Marhsal’s Office Monday morning to confirm Depew’s status with the agency, someone hung up the phone, then refused to pick up on repeated follow up calls. Borghardt calls it a lack of transparency that raises even more questions about what’s going on in Jackson.

“When you’re stonewalled and they hang up on you and they don’t answer your questions, it begs the question what is going on. What are they hiding and what else are they hiding. It’s the opposite of transparency and we’re living in a world where that is not acceptable,” Borghardt added.

Depew also faced a civil lawsuit after he was convicted of roughing up the teenager back in 2021. That lawsuit has since been settled.

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