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Clark v. Department of Police

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit

October 10, 2018

COREY CLARK
v.
DEPARTMENT OF POLICE

          APPEAL FROM CITY CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION ORLEANS NO. 8601

          Donovan A. Livaccari LIVACCARI VILLARRUBIA LEMMON LLC COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT

          Cherrell S. Taplin SENIOR CHIEF CITY ATTORNEY Elizabeth Robins DEPUTY CITY ATTORNEY Sunni J. LeBeouf CITY ATTORNEY Isaka R. Williams ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE

          Court composed of Judge Daniel L. Dysart, Judge Tiffany G. Chase, Judge Dale N. Atkins.

          DANIEL L. DYSART JUDGE.

         Corey Clark appeals the March 20, 2018 judgment of the Civil Service Commission denying his appeal of his termination from his permanent, classified employment with the New Orleans Police Department. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

         BACKGROUND:

         Corey Clark ("Clark"), an officer with the New Orleans Police Department ("NOPD") was dispatched on July 6, 2013, to an address in New Orleans East to respond to a Signal 35 (simple battery), with a possible Signal 43 (simple rape).[1]The initial report prepared by Clark indicated that he and Officer Brian Boyd[2]spoke with the victim, who reported that an acquaintance had grabbed her by both arms, twisted them behind her back, grabbed her hair and slapped her face. She stated that the acquaintance had also slammed her onto a bed and pinned her down. These facts were identical to those used by Clark to obtain an arrest warrant for the suspect, who was eventually arrested and tried for forcible rape.

         The omission from the report of a charge of rape came to light when the victim was assigned a victim witness coordinator for the reported simple battery charge, to whom the victim reported that she was also raped on July 6, 2013. The coordinator reported this information to the Sex Crimes Unit, which precipitated the investigation into whether Clark had neglected to report the rape.

         At the criminal trial of the suspect, Clark explained that the victim had reported to him that she had been raped, but that she insisted on not reporting the rape, as she did not want to submit to a medical examination. Clark also admitted at trial that he was aware of the non-discretionary NOPD policy requiring officers to report all incidents of sexually-based offenses to the Sex Crimes Unit. In addition to not reporting the rape, Clark admitted that a former NOPD officer was present at the scene, but Clark determined that his presence was not germane to the incident, and also failed to include his name in the report.

         Following the criminal trial, an article appeared in the local newspaper documenting that a NOPD officer had neglected to report a rape. A complaint was lodged against Clark by a ranking officer with the Public Integrity Bureau.

         After an investigation and hearing, it was recommended that Clark be cited for violating the following rules/policies of the NOPD:[3]

Rule 4, Performance of Duty; Paragraph 2; Instructions from an Authoritative Source, to wit, NOPD Policy 600.2 (b-2) - "An officer responsible for an initial investigation shall complete no less than the following … If information indicates a crime has occurred, the officer shall …. Determine if additional investigative resources (e.g., investigators or scene processing) assistance is necessary and request assistance as required."
Rule 6: Official Information; Paragraph 2; False or Inaccurate Reports - "An employee shall not knowingly make, or cause or allow to be made, a false or inaccurate oral or written report of an official nature, or intentionally without ...

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