By Matt Davis, The Lens staff writer |
An Orleans Parish Sheriff’s deputy arrested and suspended Monday after being booked with simple assault also has been fired from his second job as a deputy constable after being accused of a separate assault this month, records show.
And even before being fired from his part-time position at Second City Court, on the West Bank of New Orleans, Mark Andry was put on probation after being accused of stealing property from people he was evicting. That accusation was not substantiated.
In a separate matter, another sheriff’s deputy who has admitted punching his girlfriend was jailed last week for failure to pay child support.
In the Andry case, the Metropolitan Crime Commission, a non-profit criminal-justice watchdog agency, filed a theft complaint against Andry in October with Second City Court Constable Ennis Grundmeyer. This month, the commission brought the assault allegation to Grundmeyer.
Grundmeyer put Andry on a six-month probation after the theft allegation even though a thorough investigation did not support the complaint, records show. Grundmeyer’s phone, which apparently doesn’t accept messages, rang unanswered Thursday.
The constables of First and Second City Courts enforce the rulings of the courts, which include evictions and other civil matters.
Grundmeyer fired Andry on June 16 after Metropolitan Crime Commission boss Rafael Goyeneche relayed allegations that Andry had beaten a woman, Goyeneche said.
Goyeneche declined to discuss specifics of the alleged battery but spoke in general terms.
“When someone claims that someone in uniform is committing a battery against them when they’re armed with a weapon, we’ll always refer that when that information comes to us,” Goyeneche said.
Though not a law-enforcement agency, the crime commission has become a trusted agency that frequently fields complaints from citizens, passes them to the appropriate authorities and follows up on the results.
Andry’s arrest Monday came after he allegedly sent a threatening text to a friend of the woman he is accused of beating this month. In the message, he said the woman would be hurt if she did not change her story about the alleged assault, Goyeneche said.
Neither Andry, the woman or her friend could be reached for comment Thursday, and a New Orleans Police Department report from Monday’s arrest was not available.
This isn’t the first time Andry has been accused of violence against a woman. The Lens obtained a copy of a 2008 protective order filed by his then-wife.
She accused him of trying to run over her foot with his car, yelling at and shoving her in front of their three children, and threatening her during a September 2008 altercation, the protective order shows. Andry’s wife also felt threatened because he had a gun, and she changed her phone number four times, according to the order.
Andry was ordered to stay away from his wife, not to contact her or the children, and to seek professional counseling, among other requirements.
Also recently, former sheriff’s deputy Stephen Thomas was arrested on Friday and sent back to Orleans Parish Prison as an inmate, records show.
Gusman recently fired Thomas, who admitted to punching his girlfriend and had prior brushes with the law. Criminal charges against Thomas are pending in relation to that incident.
Adele Charles, the grandmother of Thomas’s child, said he was arrested in Division F of the Domestic Relations Section of Civil District Court for failure to pay more than $10,000 in outstanding child support.
Gusman’s docket reports do not show the reason for Thomas’s arrest, but Thomas is listed and photographed as a current inmate at the jail.
Charles told The Lens that Civil District Court Judge Christopher Bruno had asked in court why Thomas was not charged with statutory rape for fathering a child with her daughter when she was just 14. Baton Rouge Police have not responded to questions regarding their investigation into Stephens.
“I told him I tried,” Charles said.
Bruno declined comment, citing ethical rules about commenting on cases in his courtroom.