Former Sterlington High School football coach Jack Goode, who now is a teacher at West Monroe High School.
In reading Parker’s article, it’s VERY obvious that three elected officials [the Ouachita Parish School Board President, Jerry Hicks, (see center seated gentleman for photo), Ouachita Parish Sheriff Jay Russell, and Fourth JDC District Attorney Robert Tew] are treating this as a (pun intended) political football which nobody wants to touch.
Guess any efforts to keep all this hush-hush have failed and will likely provide valuable ammunition for any challengers to their offices in upcoming elections.
Sound Off Louisiana made the trip to Monroe, Louisiana on Thursday, August 9, 2018 for one specific purpose. We desired to provide video coverage of an appeal hearing before the Louisiana State Police Commission (LSPC).
The appeal entailed LSP trooper Joseph Jones, who received a 40-hour suspension. That suspension resulted from Jones’ conduct after encountering his son and others in April of 2017 in an environment wherein Sterlington High School football coach Jack Goode provided vodka to Jones’ son and other classmates. Goode also assaulted Jones’ son after first declaring his son to be a “pussy” upon him throwing up as a result of his system’s inability to handle the vodka Goode provided.
We intentionally placed several small segments of the appeal hearing near the front of the video. We did so because, in a first in the history of Sound Off Louisiana, we have been specifically asked to let the sentiments of the commissioners be known to as many news media outlets as possible. They want their united front regarding expressing via letter outrage and disgust at the Ouachita Parish School Board entailing its decision to retain Goode in light of his actions. We are happy to oblige, as we are equally appalled at the school board’s action.
The actual hearing was nearly three hours in length, but we have condensed it to under 37 minutes (and that includes a two-minute news feature which aired when the incident first transpired). We made a decision to include in its entirety an approximate 14-minute segment entailing LSP Col. Kevin Reeves’ testimony before the LSPC because we believe his testimony provides useful insight both to troopers as well as to the general public.
With that, the following video highlights the hearing, and we encourage news outlets, especially those around Monroe, to air the LSPC’s sentiments and ask Ouachita Parish School Board officials by what logic Goode continues to be employed by that system:
Highlights of the appeal of LSP Trooper Joseph Jones. CLICK HERE for the hearing in its entirety.
As everyone is likely aware by now, the LSPC also deliberated the fate of the “Vegas Four.” That matter has already been covered very well by The Advocate’s Jim Mustian, so we will do nothing more than simply provide video coverage of that matter in its entirety for those who may wish to view it.
In our opinion, the action of the LSPC on that particular matter is moot because the attorney for the troopers, Floyd Falcon, went to great lengths to demonstrate that the troopers were never read their rights until long after the formal investigation had commenced. In fact, Falcon even questioned Col. Reeves on the witness stand and asked, “If Col. Edmonson instructed McClendon (the Internal Affairs investigator) not to read them their rights, that would be a problem, right?” (see 15:13 – 15:33 segment of this video). Also, Falcon demonstrated in pretty authoritative fashion that the investigation was not completed in a timely manner (60 days as required by policy). Finally, many subscribers may also recall that Falcon accused LSP Col. Kevin Reeves of violating a sequestration order in a feature covered only by Sound Off Louisiana.
Falcon’s motion entailing Reeves at the “Vegas Four” hearing was clearly a maneuver taken to add further ammunition for an appeal, which, being blunt, we believe Falcon is going to have a fairly easy time prevailing on. It will be up to Derrell Williams and Rodney Hyatt on whether they wish to pursue an appeal (Thurman Miller’s disciplinary letter of reprimand was overturned by the LSPC, so he won’t be appealing); however, we believe the smart money is on an appeal because of the matters just stated.
We asked Col. Reeves for comment on the ruling of the LSPC entailing the “Vegas Four,” which included overturning Miller’s letter of reprimand, reducing Hyatt’s demotion to a 500-hour suspension, and reducing Williams’ demotion to a 40-hour suspension. In response, Col. Reeves provided the following statement:
“We disagree with the outcome but are certainly respectful of the State Police Commission’s appeal process and decision. I appreciate the Commission’s work and the careful consideration they demonstrated throughout the process. I will be meeting with my senior staff and DPS Legal Affairs to determine how we move forward.”
We take the preceding statement by Reeves to indicate LSP may contemplate an appeal as well; however, we firmly believe an appeal is all but guaranteed on the parts of Hyatt and Williams.
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