Oakdale mayor says police indictments ‘put a cloud’ over city

Oakdale mayor says police indictments 'put a cloud' over city

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -Oakdale Police Chief Joseph Lockett turned himself into jail on three felony charges including malfeasance in office, injuring public records and payroll fraud. So did officer Kenneth Miller, charged with malfeasance and both bonded out right away.

Oakdale Mayor Gene Paul says it’s a sad time.

“My first reaction is, I’m sorry for Oakdale and the citizens of Oakdale. I mean, it puts a cloud over us. But one day justice will prevail either way and then the sun will shine again,” said Paul.

Two other officers reported to jail after being indicted for simple battery in connection with treatment of an inmate in the city jail.

The mayor is hesitant to say too much but admits there are problems between himself and the police chief.

When asked how many police officers Oakdale has, Paul said he didn’t know and seemed to blame it on poor communication with the chief.

“I would have to get with payroll and see. There’s not a lot of communication between city hall and with the police chief. They don’t communicate with us at all,” said Paul.

The mayor admits, that causes problems:

“It’s not a good working relationship,” he said.

In the course of the investigation, Allen Parish Sheriff Doug Hebert says they discovered Lockett’s driver’s license is suspended. Lockett says that’s because of a citation he was notified of in Florida which he denies receiving.

The mayor sent the chief a letter saying he must discontinue driving any city vehicle immediately until he can present a valid Louisiana driver’s license.

The chief says he and the other officers plan to continue working at the police department.

The Oakdale City Council held a closed executive session at 6 p.m. The mayor said the special meeting had to do with police personnel -- but not specifically with last week’s indictments.

We are waiting to hear what, if any, action they take.

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