Criminal Justice

Serpas' daughter is connected to suspended NOPD officer

Related story from our reporting partners at Fox8 News

The adult daughter of a finalist for New Orleans police chief shares a house with one of the NOPD officers who was present at a Mid-City bar when off-duty colleagues allegedly beat a group of city transit workers, an event that is the subject of a FBI civil rights investigation.

The 28-year-old daughter of Nashville Police Chief Ronal Serpas, Mandy Serpas, lives with her boyfriend, Travis Ward, in a modest home in Venetian Isles. Ward was one in a small group of off-duty police officers partying at the Beach Corner Bar and Grill on Mardi Gras night in 2008. The night’s celebrations were cut short when an alleged brawl between officers and off-duty Regional Transit Authority workers left transit workers beaten, and one fingered in a falsified police report, according to an internal investigation completed by the NOPD in October of that year.

Following the investigation, the NOPD dismissed one officer and suspended two others. While Ward is not a known suspect in the ongoing FBI investigation and was treated as a witness, not a subject of the NOPD probe, he was subsequently suspended for an unrelated discipline offense.

As recently as March 29, 33-year-old Ward was telling friends on Facebook that “suspension ain’t half bad,” describing frequent jaunts to Nashville.

The NOPD could not say Wednesday whether Ward’s 60-day unpaid leave was complete or ongoing.

A look at the Facebook pages of Ward and Mandy Serpas shows that both openly support NOPD Capt. Jeff Winn, now the subject of a federal investigation into police misconduct following Hurricane Katrina.

According to The Times-Picayune, Winn is one of two officers that are the focus of a probe into an Algiers man who perished in Algiers in the days after the storm.

No one answered the door or phone calls at the Ward-Serpas home, and calls to Ward’s cell phone were not answered.

The tie between the police chief candidate and NOPD officers under investigation raise red flags for citizens who are ready for a top-to-bottom overhaul of the department.

“This is another indicator that Serpas grew up in the troubled culture of the NOPD,” longtime police brutality activist Malcolm Suber said. “Therefore while he does understand what is wrong with the culture, he has friends and comrades that he will be hesitant to get to rid of because his relationships.”

Serpas is one of two finalists for the superintendent’s job. The other is Ronald Davis of East Palo Alto, Calif.

Landrieu said Wednesday that he expects to announce his choice soon.

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  • Xavier

    This is pandering.

  • Jack

    You should locate a hobby or something. My daughter is as or more strange. So is yours even if you have not discovered it yet.

    Ron is effective as are the majority of cops @ NOPD. Lack of leadership has wrecked our community and public sector preception regarding NOPD order maintenance provided to the community.

    Serpas leadership plus selected police monitor is a win win situation. No brainer.

    Beware of soap selling media and NFL owners!

  • in today’s climate, as it relates to the “crescent-city’ any and everybody is subject to, federal inquiry!!! i wish chief serpas all good things. by the way, ronal serpas, black or white, he has a hard ass job ahead of him! get ready for some more grey hair chief!!!!!

  • j’ai thyme

    you seem to be getting really desperate with this story. so what if someone supports a friend who is being investigated? you might be investigated, too. what i’d like to see is some hard-biting stories about david vitter, haley barbor, piyush (bobby) jindal, or any of the other republicans you seem to hand a pass to. is this an organ for the gop? i know you are associated with the local fox affiliate. is that why there aren’t any investigative stories about republicans and we are treated to such yellow journalistic devices as seen in the story on serpas and his daughter? you’re losing what little credibility you have ever had. we’d like to see a change or a disappearing act. yours!