BR civil service board chairman resigns

The chairman of the Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board has resigned his position, and Baton Rouge police officers have elected a new representative to serve on the five-member panel.

Sgt. Bryan Taylor, a former candidate for Baton Rouge police chief, cited increased responsibilities within the department for stepping down from the post.

He is assigned to the department’s firearms training unit.

“I have enjoyed my experience on the board and feel that I have represented the Baton Rouge Police Department with sound judgment and integrity,” Taylor wrote in his resignation letter.

He added that he did not feel he could devote the necessary time to serve effectively.

Taylor’s colleagues in the Police Department elected Sgt. Chris Polito to replace Taylor on the civil service board, which among other things hears appeals from classified fire and police employees who feel they have been disciplined without just cause.

Cpl. Don Coppola, a police spokesman, said Polito, who has previously served on the board, received 51 percent of the vote.

At its regular meeting Thursday, the civil service board appointed Julie Cherry, a board member since 2008, to serve as chairwoman.

Macey Morrison was appointed vice chairman.

Civil service board members serve three-year terms. Firefighters and police officers elect one representative each from their ranks.

The Metro Council appoints an at-large member recommended by the mayor-president, as well as one representative each nominated by LSU and Southern University.

In other business, the board agreed Thursday to postpone the appeal hearing of former Cpl. Jeffrey Scott Webb, who was fired in 2009 for conduct unbecoming an officer after he was arrested in Livingston Parish. Webb, who was 36 at the time of his arrest, was accused of having sex with a teen while she was heavily intoxicated.

The board agreed to postpone the hearing because Webb recently changed attorneys.