Personal relationships – including his adult daughter’s cop boyfriend – will not influence Ronal Serpas’ implementation of police reform, the New Orleans Police Department Superintendent said Tuesday night after a public meeting with Department of Justice officials.
“You are accountable for the actions you take no matter who you are,” Serpas said.
The chief said that he will not give anyone special treatment, including Travis Ward, the live-in boyfriend of Serpas’ 28-year-old daughter, Mandy. Ward was partying at the Beach Corner Bar and Grill on Mardi Gras night 2008 when a fight broke out between officers he was with and off-duty Regional Transit Authority employees. The brawl is now the subject of a FBI investigation.
Ward is not a known suspect in the ongoing FBI investigation and simply was treated as a witness.
However, Ward subsequently was suspended for an unrelated, undisclosed discipline offense. The city has not responded to repeated requests from The Lens for an explanation of Ward’s offense.
“My thought is that a 28-year-old woman is free to make her own decisions,” Serpas said in a brief interview after the meeting. As proof of his dedication to even-handedness, he then told an oft-repeated story about having his son arrested twice for driving under the influence.
Serpas was not available for comment when The Lens first reported on his daughter’s relationship.