Retired Lafayette Police Maj. Glen Dartez is off the hook. District Attorney Mike Harson says he will not file charges against Dartez, who in June failed to render help to a woman who later died, allegedly from injuries sustained in a domestic dispute.
Wednesday Harson issued a statement saying he would not charge Dartez with malfeasance in office, as the evidence did not show that the officer, who was off-duty at the time, was told of the seriousness of the medical condition of the victim. The DA said he cannot find a legal basis for the filing of a charge because the law is well-established that to be guilty of malfeasance, a person must be in violation of a statutory or other express law that places an affirmative duty on the officer to perform a specific act.
Dartez, who retired in September after 34 years, is accused of failing to render aid to Montie "Quinn" Martie on June 11 after her live-in boyfriend, William Phillips Jr., requested help and an ambulance; Dartez is also a medic. Martie died the following day, and Phillips is charged with manslaughter in her death.
A Lafayette PD Internal Affairs investigation — not launched by Police Chief Jim Craft until two months later, Aug. 11 — led to a subsequent investigation by Louisiana State Police on Aug. 31. At that time, the case was also handed over to Harson for potential criminal prosecution.
"Although such a duty would certainly seem to be implied from his general responsibilities as a police officer and certainly may have been a violation of inter-departmental policy, none of those rules have show to have been adopted into law by local government or any other agency," Harson's statement read. Harson did note, however, that rendering aid "would certainly have been a more correct and proper thing to do."