The fire chief of Shreveport, Louisiana, was indicted on Wednesday for allegedly obstructing state and federal authorities looking into accusations of prostitution and abuse of mentally disabled men at one of the fire stations under his command.
Fire Chief Ronald Craig Mulford surrendered to authorities Thursday morning after a grand jury handed down five counts of malfeasance while in office, reports the Shreveport Times.
Mulford is accused of failing to report the abuse of one mentally disabled man at the hands of firefighters. Those same firefighters are also accused of allegedly hiring a prostitute to have sex with a man described as “severely mentally disabled,” in Fire Station no.8.
According to prosecutors, Mulford instructed firefighters to not speak with state, federal, or local law enforcement officials without his permission, and refused to allow Shreveport Fire Captain Gary Roan to speak with the FBI and State Police.
Prosecutors also allege Mulford ran a sham investigation, then lied to his subordinates telling them the investigation was closed and that he had informed representatives from human resources and the City Attorney’s Office about the matter when he had not.
The indictment states that Mulford was attempting to “conceal the true facts from law enforcement, fire personnel, and the general public all before the involvement of the FBI and Louisiana State Police.”
Mulford is also accused of ordering an FBI investigator off of city property.
At issue are several investigations into firefighters assigned to Station no.8 for abusing the two men while on duty. According to authorities, the firefighters made one of the men eat dog food, drink urine, trapped him on the firehouse roof, and taunted him as they made him chip at a block of ice with a dollar bill encased inside.
In the case of the other man, regarded by men at the station as their “mascot,” firefighters are accused of chipping in and purchasing the services of a prostitute to service the man on teh premises.
Five fireman — Jason Vaughan, Clint Richardson, Billy Glass, Derrick Harris, Randy Chandler — were eventually fired and each face 10 years in prison if convicted on abuse and prostitution charges.
Speaking with the press, Mulford attorney Paul Carmouche said the allegations against his client are “absolutely ridiculous,” and blamed the indictments on accusations made by a female firefighter whom he described as “disgruntled.”
According to Caramouche, the woman has made statements in the past that she was going to “get the chief” and that “she was going to burn him.”
Mulford, who has been with the Shreveport Fire Department since 1982, has been placed on administrative leave with pay for only one week.
Watch the video below from the Shreveport Times:
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