NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— City leaders are calling on the NOPD to turn over the Investigation into Officer Jeffrey Vappie to the Independent Police Monitor for a complete review. This comes after the release of leaked recordings showing investigators questioning Vappie about his appointment to the HANO board and his connection to Mayor Cantrell and her security detail.

Officer Vappie is accused of violating a city ordinance while serving as a HANO board member, and being paid by the city during meetings. The Independent Police Monitor says the leak is a security breach and possibly in violation of Louisiana law.

WGNO’s Legal expert Cliff Cardone weighed in on the legal ramifications.

“I think you have to put it in perspective. The City Attorney works for the Mayor. The Public Integrity Bureau works for the Mayor,” Cardone said.

Cardone said there are several issues with the security breach with the recordings of Officer Jeffrey Vappie.

“The Mayor’s getting inside scoop of evidence that might be used against her down the road in any investigation that takes place and gains any traction,” he said.

Cardone believes that with the early release of the confidential taped recordings—it ruins the integrity of the PIB’s internal investigation.

“Vappie is being investigated. He has a Bill of Rights that protects him. This may essentially violate the police officer’s Bill of Rights,” Cardone said.

The recordings with NOPD’s Vappie are regarding possible payroll fraud with his HANO board appointment while working on the Mayor’s Security detail.

“That investigation is incomplete at this point, so we have to see what the complete investigation holds,” he said.

The New Orleans City Attorney and Deputy Superintendent of NOPD’s Public Integrity Bureau said in a statement:

“There is no breach of any kind within the PIB. An internal investigation is underway and the flash drive was inadvertently released by the City’s law department to a HANO board member. The Law department has taken steps to address the mishap.”

“How did the City Attorney get the information and the documents and the tapes that in itself says a breach has taken place,” Cardone said.

Ultimately Cardone’s take is the leak doesn’t fair well for Cantrell.

“This just smacks of insider information that she’s getting and she probably doesn’t have a right to it. This is just another black eye for the Mayor,” he said.

Cardone says without the investigation being complete, it is hard to tell at this point if anyone will be criminally prosecuted.

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