Louisiana Troop A State Police Lieutenant John Cannon remains on his $115,690 per year job despite having been reprimanded for numerous offenses including theft of satellite television signals, failure to file required Daily Activity Reports (DARs), unauthorized voiding of traffic tickets, failure to investigate a fleet crash, failure to deliver fatality packets to the families of traffic fatality victims, and twice having sex with a woman while on duty—with one of those times being in the rear seat of his patrol unit.
Legislators approved two double digit state police pay increases six months apart earlier this year even as more than 35,000 state civil service employees were learning that they again would not receive 4 percent pay increases. http://louisianavoice.com/2015/09/29/state-general-fund-has-yet-to-see-any-of-the-11-million-in-delinquent-fine-collections-to-pay-for-state-police-pay-raise/
Troop A includes the eight parishes of East and West Feliciana, Pointe Coupee, East and West Baton Rouge, Iberville, Livingston, Ascension and part of St. James. Cannon, a shift supervisor, has been a state trooper since 1990. He was promoted to sergeant in July of 2000 and to lieutenant in August of 2010.
LouisianaVoice obtained the 38-page state police internal affairs investigative file on Cannon through a public records request. That file indicates Cannon was never demoted for his actions. His most severe punishment included a 36-hour suspension without pay and a $904.96 per pay period reduction in pay for nine two-week pay periods (the equivalent of a 240-hour suspension)—from Oct. 27, 2014 through June 21, 2015, that was handed down by letter of Sept. 10, 2014 from Lt. Col. Charles Dupuy.
The internal affairs investigation of claims that Cannon had sex with a woman on two occasions while on duty was launched on May 15, 2014, after West Feliciana Parish sheriff’s deputies reported they had a woman in custody for possession of Lortab and marijuana. The woman, whose name was redacted throughout the report, told deputies that she twice had exchanged sex for money with Cannon.
She repeated her story to state police detectives but failed a polygraph test on the question of her being paid for sex, the report said. Cannon subsequently admitted to detectives that he had sexual intercourse with the woman but denied he paid her for sex although he did admit that he twice gave her money. He said the money was given immediately before or after each sexual encounter but that on the first occasion the money was to pay her cell phone and the second time was to pay her rent and that he was only trying to help her and to establish a friendship.
While the woman was twice subjected to polygraph tests and failed on the key point of payment for sex, the state police report never indicated that a similar test was administered to Cannon even though that was the only aspect of the entire affair that would have actually been criminal in nature.
The two first met on Feb. 16, 2014 in, New Roads in Pointe Coupee Parish where Cannon was working a seat belt grant. The woman told investigators that the two had multiple conversations by phone before meeting behind the parish library in New Roads on Feb. 21 “sometime between 9 and 11 p.m.,” but that they did not engage in sex on that occasion. She said they subsequently “negotiated sex on the phone.”
Cannon later called her at her father’s home in St. Francisville where she was living and told her he “needed her,” she said. The woman told authorities that she told Cannon she was out of money and that he later picked her up in his marked state police unit near her father’s residence and “immediately gave her $120, which she claimed was for sex,” according to the report. Cannon later said the amount was closer to $60 and was not for sex but for her cell phone bill. The report by internal affairs put the date as March 4, 2014.
She told investigators that their first sexual encounter took place in a wooded area south of St. Francisville just off U.S. 61 and lasted “approximately two minutes.” Afterward, she said, Cannon realized his patrol car was stuck and that she smoked a marijuana joint while he checked to see how badly the car was stuck. Apparently realizing how it might look if he were caught with her in such a secluded area, especially given the fact that he was dating an employee of the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office at the time, he ordered her to walk to the main highway and catch a ride while he called for someone to pull him out.
She did catch a ride to her father’s house while Cannon called the sheriff’s department for help in removing his vehicle.
Almost two months later, on April 29, Cannon picked her up—in his state police unit while on duty and in full uniform—from an apartment in Baker where she was living with her boyfriend. Cannon drove to a home she told authorities she believed to be in Baton Rouge but which Cannon later admitted was a friend’s home in Prairieville in Ascension Parish. They again had sexual intercourse in a bedroom of the home, that time for a duration of about three minutes, she said. She told investigators she requested $150 afterward but Cannon gave her only $100. He admitted that he stopped at a Regions Bank ATM on Highland Road in Baton Rouge in order to withdraw some cash. He said the amount he gave her was closer to $60 to $80 but when advised that she claimed it was $100, he told investigators it “was possible he could have given her that amount,” the report said.
The report reiterated Cannon’s claim that while he gave her money, it was to pay her phone bill and to pay her rent but was never given in exchange for sex
While en route from Baker to Prairieville, she activated Cannon’s patrol unit’s siren which resulted in other motorists moving out of the way and that she videoed the interior of his unit with her cell phone. She said she also took a photo of the house to show her boyfriend. She said Cannon was aware of her videoing the inside of his patrol car but that he did not know about her taking a picture of the house.
His 36-hour suspension ran from Oct. 10, 2014 through Oct. 13, 2014, and he was allowed to return to work from Oct. 15 through Oct. 26.
That 224-hour time frame actually covers 18 pay periods because, according to the specified dates of his suspension, he was suspended only on every other pay period, thus allowing him to work during alternate pay periods.
The suspension also contained no prohibition to Cannon’s being able to work overtime in order to make up for the $904.96 reduction in pay for each pay period for which he was suspended. LouisianaVoice has submitted a follow-up public records request for documents related to all overtime worked by him from Oct. 27, 2014, and June 21, 2015.
Cannon has had a checkered record in his 25 years as a state trooper.
- On April 12, 1995, he received a letter of reprimand for his involvement in a traffic accident in his state police car, a not uncommon occurrence for state police.
- On Jan. 25, 2001, he was suspended for 80 hours after being found in possession of an illegal satellite access card for Direct TV.
- On June 6, 2003, he received an eight-hour suspension for failure to submit his Daily Activity Reports (DARs).
- On April 27, 2006, he received a reduction in pay equivalent to a 24-hour suspension for failure to investigate a fleet crash.
And even after Dupuy’s letter of Sept. 10, 2014, which imposed the 240-hour suspension for his sexual misconduct while on duty, he received a reprimand but no suspension on March 18 of this year for his failure to act upon six traffic citation void slips and for failure to follow state police procedure with nine other citations.
Additionally, a review revealed that Cannon had seven fatality reports that are provided by state police as a courtesy to families of the deceased which he had not delivered. The fatalities had occurred between the dates of March 24, 2014, and Oct. 1, 2014, but still had not been delivered to families of the deceased as of Dec. 4, 2014.
And while technically, Cannon claims he was not paying for sex, a case could be made that because he was on duty at the time of his trysts, he was being paid for sex.
All of which raises the obvious questions: Was he being protected from above and if so, who was protecting him?
Here is Lt. Col. Dupuy’s letter of Sept. 10, 2014, to Cannon (Click on image to enlarge):