Report: Punishment reduced for state troopers involved in controversial 'side trip' to Las Vegas
BATON ROUGE - The State Police Commission has opted to significantly reduce the punishments for three troopers accused of taking an exorbitant side trip to Las Vegas while clocking overtime hours.
According to a report from the Advocate, the commission found the repercussions to be too harsh and has restored the ranks of officers Derrell Williams and Rodney Hyatt, who were demoted because of the scandal. Additionally, a letter of reprimand addressed to trooper Thurman Miller was overturned.
The commission also reversed salary reductions for Williams and Hyatt, which were handed down by current State Police Superintendent Kevin Reeves. Williams and Hyatt will instead be faced with 40-hour and 500-hour suspensions respectively.
A fourth trooper on the trip, Alexandr Nezgodinsky, received a letter of counseling.
Last month, former state police head Michael Edmonson testified in a hearing about the scandal, which happened while he was still in charge. He resigned after a report was released that said he knew about the side trip.
When asked at the hearing if he thought the trip to the Grand Canyon would consist of "state work", he stated that the troopers would need to be asked that question. Edmonson also said he instructed the troopers to drive to the conference as it would be the most cost-effective way of traveling with that many people.
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