Charges against former Superior police captain not substantiatedA Superior police captain accused of perjury won’t face criminal charges after an in investigation revealed charges would be difficult to substantiate.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
A Superior police captain accused of perjury won’t face criminal charges after an in investigation revealed charges would be difficult to substantiate.
An internal investigation into allegations was referred to the Washburn County Sheriff’s Department by Superior Police Chief Charles LaGesse.
Washburn County Sheriff Terry Dryden accepted the case and completed a criminal investigation to determine if Superior Police Capt. Chad La Lor had committed perjury during a Nov. 4 hearing before the Superior Police and Fire Commission.
That investigation included a review of the police department internal investigation, interviews and reports from several Superior police officers and Douglas County sheriff’s deputies, other out of area law enforcement officers and citizens, in addition to transcripts of the testimony, according to Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank.
Blank said Dryden’s report states: “… most of the information provided, although in good faith, would be difficult at best to substantiate a criminal charge of perjury …” Blank wrote in a prepared statement. The sheriff concluded in his report: “ … has not found any evidence or information that would lead (him) to believe that Captain La Lor committed perjury or any other crime during his testimony at the PFC Hearing on 11/4/2011.”
The lack of evidence in this matter is significant, as no law enforcement officer took action at the time La Lor was accused of driving while intoxicated, the sheriff concluded, adding that it was his opinion that there is no probable cause and/or evidence that would … sustain a criminal charge of perjury.
Shortly after receiving Dryden’s investigative report from LaGesse, Blank said he asked Bayfield County District Attorney Craig Haukaas to act as special prosecutor in the case to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
According to Blank, Haukaas recently responded to Chief LaGesse in writing as follows: “I have reviewed the … investigation … to say the least, this investigation certainly uncovered issues which I am sure caused you as much alarm as it did me …
However, I am in agreement with Sheriff Dryden’s conclusion that it will be difficult at best to substantiate a criminal charge of perjury … I do not find probable cause … to believe that Captain La Lor should face criminal prosecution …”
Blank said because of those conclusions La Lor won’t be charged.
La Lor resigned his position with the police department March 20. At that time, La Lor said in an email statement to the Telegram:
“While I continue to deny the allegations that were leveled in January, it has become painfully obvious that the environment for me at the department is untenable. Life is far too short to spend as much time as we do at work in an atmosphere such as this. It is for this reason and personal reflection on my future on the department that I’ve elected to resign.”
La Lor remains on the city payroll until the end of June, according to a separation agreement reached with the city, in exchange for vacation days he’d banked to pay for health care after his retirement.
“It is my hope that the Superior Police Department will put the November PFC hearing, its aftermath, and the internal accusations against each other behind them and move forward again in serving and protecting the City of Superior,” Blank said. “There are many very good and professional officers in important positions and they deserve the support of our community.”