Shreveport’s former fire chief involved in the “Station Eight” scandal in 2014 was officially reinstated Wednesday with back-pay. Then Craig Mulford immediately resigned.
The city attorney and Mulford’s attorney said each party can now move on with the least impact to tax-payers.
In 2014, four firefighters from Station Eight were convicted for abusing two mentally challenged men, including hiring a prostitute to have sex with one of them. A city investigation led to charges filed against then Fire Chief Craig Mulford, who was then fired for allegedly interfering with the investigation. In 2016, the District Attorney dropped all of his charges. His attorney, Eron Brainard said they’ve been working through an appeals process since seeking payment for his lost wages.
“There was nothing to those charges. Those charges should have never been brought,” Brainard said.
Brainard said they reached an agreement with the city Wednesday in which Mulford was reinstated as chief with back-pay but then gave his resignation.
“We felt that there was a risk that the city would lose at civil service and ultimately through the court system so we have to make a calculated decision in what’s in the best interest in the city,” said William Bradford, Shreveport City Attorney.
The scandal took place prior to Mayor Ollie Tyler’s administration. When she became mayor she appointed Scott Wolverton to be the new fire chief. Brainard said Mulford could have continued appeals to be chief again, but did not want to disrupt Wolverton’s position or the fire department.
“He didn’t want to upset that applecart so that was not an issue for him to resign today,” Brainard said.
Bradford said the administration wanted to keep Wolverton as chief and grant Mulford’s back-pay from his termination in 2014.
“We made the decision to kind of stop that clock from ticking and continuing to go because ultimately he would be allowed back pay from the entire process,” Bradford said. “This was the best option we felt moving forward and it allows us to move past Station Eight and enjoy the services the Shreveport Fire Department provides to citizens.”
“He feels like justice was done. That he’s vindicated. Even when justice gets done, you would have rather never gone through this ordeal for him and his family,” Brainard said.
Brainard said the back-pay will go into the fire fighter retirement system for Mulford’s pension.