Paul Murphy / EyewitnessNews

JEFFERSON, La. -- Two high-ranking officers in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office are facing disciplinary action.

Sheriff Newell Normand confirms that on Oct. 25, Col. Ken Meynard, the second in charge of the JPSO Detective Bureau, used his position to check his stepson out of the parish jail.

He also said Chief Deputy Tom Gorman, the department's second highest ranking officer, OK'd the release.

'It was an abuse of discretion,' said Normand.

The inmate, 26-year-old Ryan Sanchez, was taken to the detective bureau office and allowed to change out of his prison jumpsuit.

He was then allowed to spend three to four hours visiting with his mother, who is Meynard's wife, and his 4-year-old daughter.

'He concocted the plan and asked for his superior officer to embrace, and I think the intent was well-suited,'said Normand. 'The execution sucked.'

Last week, Sanchez pleaded guilty to stealing Meynard's police car and simple burglary.

Normand said he was disappointed by Meynard's recent actions, which he said contradict Meynard's earlier refusal to help his stepson get the charges against him reduced.

'Col. Meynard insisted that certain things happen, which were very appropriate, and there would not be any reduction in the charges as it related to his stepson,' said Normand.

The sheriff demoted Meynard from colonel to major and he is no longer is a position of authority in the detectives bureau. Normand also suspended Gorman for a month without pay.

He called the disciplinary action 'a blip' in the officers' otherwise spotless records.

'Meynard has 38 years, Chief Gorman has over 40 years, an exemplary record, no disciplinary action since I've been here in 1980,' said Normand. 'I always looked up to them and aspired to be the officers that they are.'

Normand says what Meynard did was not illegal, but it was certainly against departmental policy.

'In this particular case, we don't do this,' said Normand.


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