BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – A former State Police boss avoided contempt charges by the legislature after a deal was made to hand over journals that could have critical information about the Ronald Greene case.
After former Louisiana State Police Superintendent Col. Kevin Reeves refused to give up three journals he kept in the months after Ronald Greene died, the legislature moved to hold him in contempt. The House and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on the resolution and called witnesses to explain the evidence for or against the contempt motion.
The special committee investigating the death of Greene believes there is important information about who knew what when, and why some actions were not taken sooner such as administrative leave for troopers involved in the case.
“There can be no doubt that those records are critical to this investigation,” said Rep. Debbie Villio, R-Kenner.
Reeves’ lawyer, Lewis Unglesby, gave up only 11 pages of the journals. He gave multiple reasons why; first saying the committee didn’t have the power to subpoena it, then said they don’t have to comply, and then said they did comply giving only what he says is relevant to Ronald Greene.
Rep. Villio said of the 11 pages that have been shared there has been major information revealed. She made this claim:
“I’ll give you one snippet of a record that we did get to see in October of 2020. The governor’s staff, Tina, saw the infamous Lieutenant Clary video. What’s important about that, members, is that the video allegedly was not known to exist and not found by the State Police audit team until six months later,” Rep. Villio said.
Following that the Governor’s office released a letter that said this statement was not true. The letter claims the videos were seen in 2020 but the fact the Clary body camera video was not sent to District Attorney John Belton was not revealed until the spring of 2021.
Unglesby said he does not believe the other pages of the journals have to do with Ronald Greene and thus should not be shared.
“He may have notes and documents that he may not even realize is even important to us because he may not realize what somebody was telling him or what was being observed,” said Rep. Magee.
After a lengthy debate of if the journals are public records, or if the committee even needs them to be, an offer was made to take the journals under seal. That way only legislators will get to see them in a protected office.
“You want to talk about putting things under seal, stuff like that, I don’t know that we’ll be in contempt because I don’t think we have any objections,” Unglesby said.
Under supervision, the journals will be redacted to take out personal financial information Reeves wrote in it and the rest will be reviewed by the committee. The contents of those journals will be discussed at the next meeting of the Special Committee to Investigate the Death of Ronald Greene on Wednesday, June 1.