By Matt Davis, The Lens staff writer |
An Orleans Parish Sheriff’s deputy booked last month with simple assault had previously been suspended for allegedly chasing and roughing up a woman in an apparent road-rage incident, records show.
Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman suspended Deputy Mark Andry for 10 days in February over the road-rage incident. In connection with the more recent assault case, criminal prosecution remains pending, said the District Attorney’s Office.
The victim in the road-rage incident, Julie Kalka, told Gusman’s investigators that Andry chased her into Holy Cross College, where she works, pulled her arm and twisted it, apparently angry over the way Kalka had swept past him in the parking lot.
Andry told investigators that Kalka made an obscene gesture as she passed his car; she denied having done so.
Gusman suspended Andry for failure to follow a variety of his office policies, including those on “adherence to law,” but did not formally refer the matter to the police or district attorney’s office.
Kalka engaged two attorneys and filed a complaint against Andry with the Sheriff’s internal affairs department. Neither of the attorneys — Christian Comarda and Claude Kelly — returned a call seeking comment.
Kalka is married to Sgt. Chris Kalka, of the New Orleans Police Department’s homicide division, but did not file an incident report with NOPD.
“We don’t have any record of Miss Kalka approaching the police department,” said police spokeswoman Remi Braden. “The sheriff’s people told us it was handled internally.”
A spokesman for the Orleans Parish District Attorney was unable to say whether Gusman is required to refer the results of internal investigations to prosecutors for possible criminal charges. The Attorney General’s office deferred on the issue to the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement.
“My guess is that they did not think that the behavior rose to the level of criminal conduct, but that it did constitute behavior that went above the policies of the office on what was acceptable,” said Bob Wertz, a trainer with the commission. “If the sheriff’s office had found that the behavior was possibly in violation of the law, then they would have referred to the District Attorney’s office to pursue possible charges.”
Gusman’s spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, a separate investigation by Gusman’s internal affairs department also found that Andry had never sought permission from Gusman to moonlight as a deputy constable for Second City Court.
Second City Court Constable Ennis Grundmeyer fired Andry on June 16 after the Metropolitan Crime Commission relayed allegations that Andry had beaten a woman, Crime Commission leader Rafael Goyeneche said.
Andry has been suspended pending the outcome of criminal charges related to that incident. He could not be reached for comment.
While moonlighting for Second City Court, Andry was also accused of stealing property from people he was evicting. The accusation was not substantiated, but he was placed on probation for six months. In another incident, Andry’s wife filed a 2008 protective order against him, alleging that he yelled at her and shoved her in front of their three children and tried to run over her foot with his car. The couple has since separated.