BSL Mayor says update near in federal probes of police department

BSL Mayor says update near in federal probes of police department

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Bay St. Louis Mayor Mike Favre said new information about the federal investigations of the Bay St. Louis Police Department could be released next week.

Favre confirms changes are coming to the department, though the mayor would not confirm what personnel changes are in store for the police department or what is prompting the changes.

"There are some changes coming down, and there are a lot of personnel issues," Favre told WLOX News Now.

Messages left with Police Chief Gary Ponthieux at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday have not been returned.

Favre says he could not comment on whether any personal shifts are related to the ongoing investigations of the police department. One part of the federal probe is complete, while another remains ongoing. The federal probes of the Bay St. Louis PD have focused on department finances and missing weapons that came to light in late 2016 following the suicide of then-chief Mike DeNardo.

The department is also facing a lawsuit accusing officers of excessive force during a September 2016 incident outside a bar on Blaize Ave. Brothers Thomas and Cory Koenenn have accused officers of choking them while placing them under arrest.

Steve Irwin, the attorney representing the Koenenn brothers, told WLOX News Now he has learned one officer involved in the incident was terminated and several others disciplined. While Mayor Favre says he could not confirm or comment on Irwin's information, the mayor notes that he doesn't know if any officers affected have been notified of the pending changes.

"I'd rather them find out from the chief and let him decide what's best for his department," Favre said.

The Bay St. Louis City Council meets Tuesday, December 7 at 5:30 p.m.

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