- Associated Press - Monday, November 9, 2015

HAMMOND, La. (AP) - Hammond’s long-time police chief has been fired as part of a pending disciplinary matter originated by a complaint to the city’s civil service board.

The Daily Star reports (http://bit.ly/1QeAxyp ) Chief Roddy Devall’s attorney, Ron Macaluso, said Devall received a letter from Mayor Pete Panepinto on Monday terminating him, effective immediately.

Devall had been chief for 34 years. Macaluso said his client has never had any prior disciplinary action against him.

“This is an extreme unwarranted action by the mayor,” Macaluso said.

An appeal was filed Monday with the Civil Service Board.

The string of events that led to Devall’s dismissal started in April 2014, when Officer Jennifer Payne was arrested and accused of doctor shopping.

The police department released her booking information, including her photo and address, which her attorney argued was a violation of her rights as a police officer and put her family in danger.

After being arrested, Payne filed a complaint with the Civil Service Board, which began an investigation and suspended Devall.

Devall then filed the lawsuits and was able to go back to work.

The district attorney’s office later dropped the charges against Payne and she went back to work with the Hammond Police Department.

The position of chief of police remains vacant at this time. Lacy Landrum, Hammond’s director of administration, will oversee department matters and Assistant Chief Thomas Corkern will direct and supervise the operation of the police department in the interim.

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Information from: The Daily Star, http://www.hammondstar.com

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