Morrell seeks IG probe of city attorney’s involvement in Vappie investigation
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - City Council president J.P. Morrell will ask New Orleans’ Inspector General to probe the involvement of the City Attorney’s office in the NOPD’s internal investigation of officer Jeffrey Vappie and determine how recorded interviews from the inquiry were leaked, his spokesperson said Monday (March 27).
Morrell intends to send a letter as early as Tuesday, asking IG Ed Michel to look into the handling of the still-unfinished investigation by the police department’s Public Integrity Bureau into Vappie, a former member of Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s executive protection detail.
Recordings of PIB interviews with Vappie and other protection team members came into the possession of the City Attorney’s office, for reasons still unclear. The recordings then became public through what that office called an inadvertent leak. Fox 8 ultimately was provided the leaked recordings and reported on their contents.
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The PIB began looking into possible payroll fraud and timesheet irregularities involving Vappie after a series of “Outside the Office” investigations by Fox 8′s Lee Zurik. Using video obtained from a public surveillance camera, the Fox 8 investigation showed Vappie and Cantrell spending many hours together in a city-owned French Quarter apartment while the officer was both on and off the clock with NOPD.
The PIB investigation has not been completed, but Cantrell has publicly defended Vappie and characterized the investigation as a “witch hunt.”
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