NEW ORLEANS -- Amid a press release that the New Orleans Police Department was shuffling leadership was news that Commander Edwin Hosli has been reinstated to full duty with the NOPD.
Hosli, the former commander of the 8th District, "has been reinstated to full duty following the close of local and federal investigations into the red light traffic camera detail," Remi Braden, spokesperson for the NOPD, said.
Hosli was commander of the 8th District in the French Quarter when it came to light that he had formed a company called Anytime Solutions that paid New Orleans police officers to review tickets as a subcontractor for the city's red light camera vendor. Hosli was said to be a close friend of Superintendent Ronal Serpas -- among those his firm employed were Serpas' driver and his son in law.
According to police, investigations into the red light traffic camera detail were first launched in 2011. Hosli and Sgt. Bradley Rhodes were suspended by Mayor Mitch Landrieu for up to 120 days back in May 2011.
"The Inspector General and the FBI looked into allegations that Commander Hosli formed an LLC to conceal his management of that paid detail, as well as the fact that this LLC was doing business with the City of New Orleans. Federal and State prosecutors reviewed those investigations, as well as one conducted by the Public Integrity Bureau (PIB), and declined criminal prosecution."
Public Integrity Bureau investigators, however, did determined Hosli violated department rules by forming an LLC. He was suspended for the violation in August of 2011.
In a letter provided from the NOPD sent from the Office of Inspector General to Arlinda Westbrook, chief of the Public Integrity Bureau, "Hosli did not try and conceal his management of" the detail or that the City of New Orleans was paying him as a vendor. The investigation did find five officers -- Ross Bourgeois, George Brown, Derek Frink, Glenn Gross and Edwin Hosli -- over-billed for their hours. The U.S. Attorney General's Office declined to prosecute. The matter was sent back to PIB to determine is any administrative discipline was to be taken.
A letter from Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office also declined to prosecute Hosli and the other officers, noting that "The report makes a compelling case for enhanced management controls over time keeping and billing practices of the vendor. It makes a case for better administrative and management review of officers working paid details."
Hosli was reassigned from Crime Lab and Central Property Room to oversee the Management Services Bureau that handles the Record Room and Logistics/Fleet/Radio Shop.
Other changes according to the release:
- Commander Robert E. Norton will be reassigned from the First District to the Special Operations Division which includes the SWAT team, Bomb Squad and Traffic Unit.
- Commander Otha L. Sandifer will be reassigned from the Academy to the First District.
- Commander Tami A. Brisset will be reassigned from the Management Services Bureau to the Public Integrity Bureau overseeing administrative and criminal investigations.
- Commander Rannie Mushatt will be reassigned from the Public Integrity Bureau to the Criminal Investigations Division which includes Homicide, Special Victims Unit and Property Crimes.
- Commander Kim Lewis-Williams will be reassigned from the Criminal Investigations Division to the Police Academy and Recruitment.
The changes are effective Sunday, May 26.
Sandifer, who coordinated details in the Downtown Development District and was a lieutenant in 2011, was also suspended at the time Hosli was.
Included in the release, Superintendent Ronal Serpas issued a statement: “One of the most effective ways to make division leaders even stronger and more beneficial to the department as a whole is to give them the opportunity to head up other divisions. A well-rounded team of Commanders means a more experienced group of leaders, who can take the entire department to the next level”.