Corruption as an offensive strategy?

Last year, New Orleanians heralded the hiring of a new NOPD Superintendent as a fresh start (even if the person in question is known to have had his eye on this post for more than 15 years’ time). I wonder: Just how much meaningful change is possible when the NOPD continues to keep officers on board in prominent roles who have well-documented tarnished records or, at the very least, who might have axes to grind?

Major Raymond C. Burkart, Jr. has a history of questionable actions stretching back through multiple NOPD command reconfigurations, including allegedly threatening an assistant U.S. attorney in 2001 and being indicted on bankruptcy fraud charges, as detailed by The Gambit in 2003. In light of recent events, I find it curious that Maj. Burkart has reportedly recently been assigned by the NOPD to work within the troubled 9-1-1 emergency dispatch center.

Captain Frederick C. Morton of the NOPD’s Inspection Division wrote the report issued in March 2011 that threw a spotlight on the police detail work issue; this report also cited the NOPD Eighth District for downgrading reported crimes to perhaps paint an impression of improvement. However, Capt. Morton has also been discovered to be the agent of record for “Rosewood Watchmen, LLC” which was also recently suspended from doing detail work. Isn’t that a bit like the cast-iron pot calling the kettle black (while acting like it’s porcelain and also microwave-safe)?

Captain Norvel Orazio was fired by former NOPD Superintendent Eddie Compass from the post of First District Commander (in which he’d succeeded Compass) for reducing criminal charges to lesser offenses in an attempt to make it appear that crime was on the decline in his District. So why, then, is Capt. Orazio currently employed by the NOPD in the Third District? Oh, right. He was reinstated by the City of New Orleans. Some suggest that the crucial factor in this reversal of fortune was the possibility that “Compass’ record was not unassailable…”.

Captain Michael Glasser is admittedly the curious outlier in this list (One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong!). While his actions do not beat a path to incidents of disciplinary action or the taint of corruption, it should be noted that he has been critical of Supt. Serpas’ reform efforts. Even his semi-positive responses to Supt. Serpas’ actions seem, at best, like backhanded compliments (such as these remarks regarding a recent NOPD employee survey):

“Capt. Michael Glasser, head of the Police Association of New Orleans, which represents officers’ interests, said the results were encouraging. But he added that he wished more officers had participated.

“‘The survey certainly reflects what the respondents said, but it doesn’t reflect all of the officers,’ said Glasser, who acknowledged taking part in the survey.”

In New Orleans, gossip and rumors are accepted as time-honored components of our city’s eclectic social currency. There’s been a lot of talk going around as of late… Some are saying that these specific members of the NOPD’s upper brass were displeased with potential reform efforts to be implemented by Superintendent Ronal Serpas.

If these four men aren’t able to attack Supt. Serpas directly, is it possible that they’re using a strategy of “the best defense is a good offense” and any available means to target the Superintendent indirectly?

7 thoughts on “Corruption as an offensive strategy?

  1. Sounds a little bit like a conspiracy theory here. Serpas deserves any and all attacks he is getting on all fronts, even if its other corrupt NOPD officers ambushing him, it takes one to know one and if they are turning on one of their own then so be it. From the minute Mitch decided to shove Serpas down the throat of New Orleans the stage was set for what is happening here. Rather then hire a complete outsider with no ties to the dept Mitch hired a tried and true good old boy NOPD HACK.

    I for one am enjoying watching the different NOPD factions claw and scratch at each other while they reveal the inner depth of the corruption that is the NOPD. Serpas and his pet monkey Hosli are shining examples of everything that is WRONG with the NOPD and the sooner they all are fired, retired or quit the NOPD the better off (and safer) we will be. Serpas with his previous NOPD infractions to his NOPD car crashing son in law to his families involvement with Mitch’s family, to the overlooking of the massive abuse taking place with the details is a joke….and the joke is on the citizens of New Orleans….feel like laughing?

  2. In a response to the article on Major Raymond C. Burkart, Jr., it has been documented true to the above allegations. His tenure of over 40 years with the New Orleans Police Department has caused many black eyes as he will say and do just about anything that is underhanded, deceitful, and especially unethical to get in the front door by using the back door.

    He is not respected or trusted by his fellow brother officers and has been labeled “Ruthless” and will say or do what ever it takes for his own advancement within the department.

    He is finally being paid back by his recent transfer to the Communications Department, as the Commander of Communications, which is a huge demotion from his last command.

    Thank goodness he will never acheive his goal as Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department. As, the people of the “Big Easy” certainly deserve the very best in leadership and that is not Major Raymond C. Burkart Jr.

  3. ”the people of the “Big Easy” certainly deserve the very best in leadership and that is not Major Raymond C. Burkart Jr”.

    Well it certainly is not Serpas, (or Hosli or Selby) either, birds of a feather perhaps?

  4. I find it interesting that three of the six petitioners noted in the following article are named in this blog post, and that the attorney representing the six petitioners in this action is the son of the fourth: New Orleans police commander leadership structure could get civil service panel review.

    Also: Thom Kahler of wrote about Capt. Morton’s possible involvement with as many as eight police detail companies in illuminating depth in this post: Takes one to know one

  5. Burkart is an ignorant $&@! up of biblical proportions and Serpas needs to get him out of communications. 9-1-1 is serious business and the citizens and visitors of New Orleans need a competent professional in the role of Commuications Cmdr. not this criminal defendant in blue.

  6. If I’m not mistaken, Burkart’s son has turned to representing other bad cops after his own NOPD career was cut short because of multiple DWIs.

  7. “For Raymond Burkart III, considered a rising star after five years on the force, his January arrest for drunken driving and two counts of hit-and-run forced him to miss a possible jump to sergeant, even though he placed 5th out of 218 officers on the promotion test.”

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