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NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley said Wednesday that a 35-year police veteran who was reprimanded for wearing the wrong uniform shirt just 15 minutes before he was set to retire was punished appropriately.
"He suffered the consequences of his actions," Riley said.
Sgt. Bobby Guidry of the NOPD's 2nd District said Tuesday that he was advised on his last day, June 28, that he was suspended for wearing the old powder-blue uniform shirt instead of the post-Katrina black shirt.
Police officials said Guidry was reprimanded, not suspended, and that an internal investigation was opened into the matter.
Guidry is considered to be "retired under investigation," which means he will not receive his police commission and denies him the opportunity to work as a reserve officer.
Guidry said he had not received any follow-up telephone calls or disciplinary letters, and has not been interviewed by internal investigators.
He acknowledged wearing the improper uniform and said he was trying to make a statement on his last day by honoring his colleagues who died while wearing the powder-blue shirt while he was on the force.
Riley, speaking Wednesday morning at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a new police division headquarters, also said he was dismayed by the actions of officer Donyell Sanchell, who apparently last weekend led Crescent City Connection police on a pursuit across the bridge and into the city, then allegedly grazed a bridge officer with his vehicle and later slapped him.
Bridge police issued Sanchell a municipal summons for battery along with traffic citations.
"Was I disappointed? Absolutely," Riley said. "It's embarrassing for the New Orleans Police Department."
Riley noted that the Sanchell case is still under investigation by the Crescent City Connection Police Department. That agency handed over police reports and video and audio footage from the pursuit to the Orleans Parish district attorney's office Wednesday. The department is seeking a second opinion from the DA about whether the municipal charges levied against Sanchell were appropriate.
The NOPD is conducting an internal administrative investigation. Sanchell has been suspended without pay.
"I will render the most appropriate decision," Riley said of any possible punishment for Sanchell, which Riley noted could range from a reprimand to termination.