Guarding inmates at the Orleans Justice Center is worlds apart from delivering shots at a Bourbon Street daiquiri shop.
Yet those were the two jobs held simultaneously by Orleans Parish Sheriff's Deputy Dernisha Harvey. And when those dual roles overlapped over the weekend, there was trouble.
Harvey, 26, was arrested early Sunday for malfeasance by abuse of office after pulling out her badge and threatening to arrest a pair of customers during a dispute over a bill.
Harvey was working as a “shot girl” at Jester’s Daiquiri Shop, 401 Bourbon St., when two customers argued with her about a $40 tab over drinks, according to a police report.
There was a “verbal altercation,” the report states, at which point “Harvey pulled out a law enforcement badge (OPSO), showed it to them and stated they needed to pay her or she would be arrested.”
Instead, Harvey is the one who ended up in handcuffs, getting arrested for after the customers flagged down two police officers to report the confrontation.
“There's a state statute that says that an officer cannot use their credentials for their own personal enrichment,” said Rafael Goyeneche, president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission. “So she’s working there and allegedly trying to collect a bill and threatening to use her law enforcement authority to arrest somebody. Now a police report will be generated and the district attorney’s office will determine if there’s sufficient evidence to go forward with a prosecution.”
Court records show that Harvey was quickly released from parish prison on a $2,500 bond, but there may be another potential problem for the deputy, according to Goyeneche.
“I was told she was out on some type of sick leave,” Goyeneche said. “I don't know if the sheriff's office was aware of her working there, but I was told she wasn't reporting to work (at the jail) because she was sick. That could be the basis for a job action by the sheriff’s office.”
Harvey, a guard at the jail since December 2015, has been suspended without pay pending further review of the case, said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Philip Stelly.