Marlon Defillo, the New Orleans Police Department’s second-highest-ranking officer, retired yesterday amid scrutiny of his failure to investigate allegations that police killed a man and burned the body shortly after Hurricane Katrina, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Defillo, the longtime public face of the city’s police force, was scheduled to attend a disciplinary hearing this morning at which Superintendent Ronal Serpas was to mete out his punishment for neglect of duty, a violation that could result in termination or heavy sanctions.
Instead, the 32-year police veteran decided to retire. His attorney, Robert Jenkins, said the retirement was effective immediately. Defillo will speak at a news conference today. Serpas said Defillo “served this department and the people of this city with loyalty and dedication for more than 32 years,” Serpas said. “However, after reviewing the facts, the sustained charge of neglect of duty concerned me greatly, and it was clear that errors in judgment were made.”