At the very least, they deserve an award for boldness:
Acting New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley said Thursday that as many as 40 officers from the department's 3rd District, including the commanding captain, are "under scrutiny" for possibly bolting the city in the clutch and heading to Baton Rouge in Cadillacs from a New Orleans dealership...
"It is a subject that is under review," Riley said, stopping short of saying he has launched a formal investigation. Asked if Capt. Donald Paisant, who replaced Capt. James Scott as the 3rd District commander, was a part of that review, Riley said, "Certainly the commander of that district is under scrutiny."
Last week, after reports surfaced that the Louisiana attorney general's office was investigating the alleged theft of about 200 cars from Sewell Cadillac Chevrolet, possibly by NOPD officers, Riley revealed his own internal investigations...
He acknowledged then that an unspecified number of officers were being looked at for their alleged involvement in the Sewell incident, which took place in the first four days after Katrina ripped through town.
Riley said he was surprised to learn that "at least 40" 3rd District officers were in Baton Rouge after the hurricane. Riley said that at some point after a number of 3rd District teams were rescued from the Louisiana State University Dental School he spoke to clumps of them at the Hampton Inn and Suites on Convention Center Boulevard...
UPDATE: There's more from the AP here. The dealership president says the cars might have been taken even before the hurricane hit town, and:
[Dealership prez Doug Stead] said the cars included 88 new Cadillacs and Chevrolets, 40 used cars, 52 customers' cars and a restored 1970 El Camino and 1966 Impala.
''We put the loss on new cars at $3.7 million,'' Stead said. ``The used cars ran another $900,000.''
When reports first surfaced last month that officers may have taken the cars, New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley said it was not considered looting because the officers patrolled in the cars.
''There were some officers who did use Cadillacs,'' Riley said. "Those cars were not stolen.''
On Friday, police spokesman Capt. Marlon Defillo said the department's only comment was that it was cooperating with the attorney general's investigation.
...Stead said he got a call Aug. 28 while evacuating the city, telling him one of the dealership's garage doors was open. The rest of his trip was spent fielding calls about his cars.
...Keys to the new and used cars were kept in a locked box on the second floor, Stead said. The box was taken on a forklift to the third floor, where a blowtorch was used to open it, he said. For cars without keys, the ignitions were jimmied, he said.