BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - A former Louisiana State Police lieutenant demoted to sergeant says he felt as if former state police Commander Mike Edmonson threw him under the bus.
Rodney Hyatt took the stand on Monday at a state police hearing in which he's trying to get his old job back in the wake of an expensive Las Vegas side trip.
Edmonson testified on Friday that he did nto order anyone to go to Las Vegas on the way to a police conference in San Diego. Sgt. Rodney Hyatt on Monday testified that Edmonson told him to stay off I-10.
Hyatt said Edmonson and other higher-ups were fully aware of his intentions to take in Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon on their way to California.
And he said he was directly told not to take the interstate and to go the more scenic and lengthy northern route through Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.
Hyatt said he was in constant communication with higher ups along the route. But when an inquiry into the trip began later, Hyatt said he felt strongly that Edmonson was making he and three other troopers scapegoats as questions were raised about a side trip that cost state taxpayers an extra $19,000.
"We were scared, didn't know what the colonel would say. He's the ultimate authority controls our lives," Hyatt said.
A state ethics inquiry cleared Hyatt of wrongdoing. Hyatt and other troopers are asking the commission to restore their old jobs and thousands of dollars in reduced pay.
Troopers Derrell Williams and Thurman Miller are also expected to testify at this week's hearing.