Monday, September 28, 2009

Cpl Donald Bailey Arrested for Taking Money for Favors

A veteran Baton Rouge police officer arrested Monday evening by Louisiana State Police for allegedly accepting cash from an inmate to get the jailed man's charges dismissed and his parole hold lifted bonded out of jail early Tuesday morning.

East Baton Rouge Parish jail officials said Cpl. Donald Bailey, 49, was released on a $10,000 bond around 2 a.m.

Bailey was charged with malfeasance in office and corrupt influencing. Investigators said they found out Bailey extorted money from the inmate and set up an operation to catch him in the act.

Troopers recorded a telephone call between Bailey and the inmate. During the call, the inmate told Bailey he needed help getting out of the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a cocaine possession charge and a parole hold. According to state police, Bailey told the inmate he would help him in exchange for $12,000.

The officer allegedly then contacted the district attorney's office and the parole office to make the requests. The agencies allowed the requests to happen and once the inmate was out of jail, a meeting was arranged between the inmate and Bailey. Investigators reported Bailey accepted $1,400 in cash. He was then arrested and booked into the parish prison.

Bailey is a 14-year veteran of the department and was the coordinator of the Targeted Violent Offender Program. Bailey was placed on administrative leave "pending a legally mandated pre-termination hearing," the department said in a statement late Monday evening.

"To say I'm disappointed would be a major understatement," Police Chief Jeff LeDuff said. "It hurts me personally and it hurts all of us professionally, anytime an officer violates the public trust."

LeDuff said he asked Louisiana State Police to conduct an independent investigation after first hearing of allegations against the corporal earlier this month.

"Allegations of corruption are taken very seriously and need to be investigated immediately," LeDuff said. "Many times we conduct those inquiries in-house. But in this case, Bailey was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Bureau, and we wanted to be certain we could maintain the integrity of the investigation, so we requested the assistance of Louisiana State Police."

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