The Civil Service Commission (CSC) today granted 60 day extensions to more than 30 internal investigations of New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) officers.
Such extension requests are not uncommon, but today's were notable because they included two probes of Officer Joshua Colclough, who fatally shot Wendell Allen during a March 7 drug raid. Allen was unarmed at the time.
State law allows up to 14 days after a formal complaint has been filed for a police department to initiate an internal investigation. NOPD's internal affairs unit, the Public Integrity Bureau (PIB), is then given 60 days to complete an investigation, but is allowed one 60-day extension with CSC approval.
"The Public Integrity Bureau requests extensions when it needs more time to investigate," wrote NOPD spokeswoman Remi Braden in an email to Gambit .
Gambit has not, as of this writing, learned the precise nature of the two Colclough investigations identified in today's CSC meeting agenda and is awaiting a response to a public records request for copies of the PIB files.
Update: Several attempts to contact attorney Claude Kelly, who represents Colclough in the Allen case, were not returned today. But Donovan Livaccari, an attorney for the Fraternal Order of Police, tells Gambit that the two PIB cases that came up are not related to the shooting, and are in fact fairly innocuous and straightforward administrative issues.
"I represent him on those two cases," Livaccari wrote via Twitter.
According to Livaccari, the cases involved a parking ticket Colclough received in the French Quarter and a missed court date.
"He missed court b/c of miscommunication with his partner. The other was his personal car was parked on a French quarter street," Livaccari wrote. "I believe both of those investigations should be completed. They were both straight forward. Makes one wonder why they need an extension."
In late April, NOPD turned over a fact-finding report on Allen's shooting to District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office. Asked about an administrative investigation into the shooting, Livaccari (who, again, does not represent Colclough in the Allen case) wrote, "I can’t comment on that, but I can tell you that typically the NOPD wouldn’t start an administrative investigation until any criminal investigation is complete." He added, "I do not have any specific info on that investigation in particular."