(WBRZ News 2) BATON ROUGE - Newly-released documents from Louisiana State Police contain criminal allegations aimed at former Superintendent Michael Edmonson, including accusations that he deleted text messages pertaining to a 'side trip' by LSP troopers that cost the state thousands of dollars in overtime.
The police report suggested it was "obvious" that Edmonson knew of the troopers' detour to Las Vegas while on a cross-country trip to a conference in San Diego. Edmonson had condemned the trip earlier this year, insisting that he knew nothing of the detours taken by his personnel. State police soon opened an investigation into the trip taken by Lt. Rodney Hyatt, Master Trooper Thurman Miller, Trooper Alexander Nezgodinsky and Major Derrell Williams.
But the latest report now says that Edmonson was in touch with the troopers throughout their trip and had received photographs of them sightseeing and posing in front of the Hoover Dam.
The most prominent allegation in the report involves an interaction in March between Edmonson and Hyatt. The former superintendent had said in interviews that he had been considering stepping down from the job for months amid the "side trip" controversy.
But the report now shows that Edmonson announced his retirement just one day after he met with Hyatt and purged the trooper's phone of all text messages older than 30 days, warning that they would otherwise remain on the device "forever".
Hyatt himself was recently demoted for submitting falsified time sheets from the road trip and disregarding a host of other State Police policies, according to the Advocate.