Insurance Fraud Charges Dropped Against Former La. Cop

December 17, 2007

Charges against a former Shreveport, La., police officer were dropped in Caddo District Court and his wife pleaded guilty to a lesser offense, the prosecutor and the couple’s attorney said.

Ronald Small, who resigned his position Jan. 12 after being arrested, had faced charges of insurance fraud and injuring public records. That followed investigation into an accident involving his wife, Tracey Small, in which he allegedly asked a fellow officer to alter the date of the accident report to indicate it happened when she was insured.

Those charges were dropped before Judge John Mosely in the wake of the subsequent arrest of the state’s star witness, fellow Shreveport police officer Melvin Goodson, on unrelated felony charges.

Goodson, who was put on leave because of his involvement in the Small affair, was arrested in late June on a charge of malfeasance in office, stemming from an April complaint that he tried to solicit sex from a woman from whom he had seized drugs. He subsequently was fired.

“It was an evaluation of the case,” said Assistant District Attorney Ron Stamps. “We feel that in the Small case, we would have won, but we had to deal with our witness, Melvin Goodson, coming in with malfeasance charges.”

Tracey Small, also charged with insurance fraud and injuring public records, was allowed to plead to a charge of attempted felony theft.

“She paid no fine, just court costs, $163,” said the couple’s attorney, Ron Miciotto, who said the state’s case “went south. Their case was not strong. And when their witness was arrested, their case went out the window. They didn’t have anything.”

Miciotto said he plans to file a request to have the arrest expunged from Ronald Small’s record. “Hopefully, he will go back to work somewhere.”

As for Tracey Small, Miciotto said, “at some point, she goes back to work somewhere with a slight blemish on her record.”

Goodson also appeared in court, Stamps said. “He hired a new lawyer, so we are essentially back to ground zero with him.”

Stamps said Goodson’s next court appearance, for arguments and hearings, will be in February.

Under Louisiana’s Revised Statutes, a person convicted of malfeasance in office faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. However, a person convicted of malfeasance in office by tampering with evidence faces up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Information from: The Times,

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