By Matt Davis, The Lens staff writer |
An Orleans Parish sheriff’s deputy, initially suspended after being booked with domestic abuse and battery on his girlfriend, has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disturbing the peace after the alleged victim refused to cooperate, the District Attorney’s office said this week.
Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman suspended Deputy Anthony Perkins last July after his arrest, but Perkins was cleared to return to duty a month later pending the outcome of his court case, records show. Now that the legal proceedings are over, it’s unclear whether Perkins still has a job with the Sheriff’s Office because Gusman declined comment on this story.
This is the third disciplinary incident at the Sheriff’s Office concerning domestic abuse to come to light in the past six weeks, and its handling raises further questions about how Gusman punishes his deputies for such matters.
In addition to this matter, Perkins was recommended for dismissal by Gusman’s disciplinary board on May 23, after receiving suspensions for two separate incidents involving his work at the House of Detention.
In the first incident in December 2010, Perkins was found standing outside in the inmate recreation area on the first floor of the jail when he was assigned to supervise the second tier. He had left the main door to the second tier wide open with a set of keys sitting on the desk — potentially allowing inmates to escape from the tier.
Perkins told internal-affairs detectives he had been accompanying inmates down to the recreation area, according to reports. He was suspended for five days.
In the second incident in May, an internal-affairs deputy was given a printout of a Facebook page belonging to a user by the name of “Gert Town Eddie,” otherwise known as Orleans Parish Prison inmate Edison Oliver. Oliver was dressed in inmate attire, “posing and making hand gang signs,” according to a report into the incident.
“The photograph was apparently taken inside of the OPP facility by the freight elevator,” said the report. “Inmate Oliver was also under investigation at the time for having a cellular telephone in the OPP facility.”
The inmate’s friend list “included a recent acceptance by Deputy Anthony Perkins,” the report said.
A spokesman for Gusman did not respond to a series of questions about the case, and Perkins was unreachable for comment. Documents related to the three incidents can be found here.
Perkins, who pleaded guilty June 2, is the third deputy to have battery charges against him reported by The Lens. He pleaded guilty on June 2.
Gusman recently fired another sheriff’s deputy, Stephen Thomas, who punched his girlfriend and had prior brushes with the law. Criminal charges against Thomas are pending.
In another incident, Gusman declined comment on the outcome of disciplinary action for another deputy suspended after being accused of threatening his former girlfriend with a handgun in front of their children.
Gusman’s policies and procedures around battery charges against his employees are unclear.
Perkins initially was suspended after his incident; Thomas was not.
Spokesman Marc Ehrhardt has previously told The Lens Thomas was not suspended because he only was issued a summons, not arrested.
Since that interview, Gusman’s attorneys provided The Lens with a copy of the sheriff’s disciplinary policies. They make no mention of this distinction: All employees serve at Gusman’s discretion, the policies say.