|Donald Edgar "Don" Hathaway, Sr.|
|Sheriff of Caddo Parish, Louisiana|
June 1980 – July 1, 2000
|Preceded by||Harold Terry|
|Succeeded by||Steve Prator|
|President of the National Sheriffs' Association|
|Preceded by||John J. Pierpont|
|Succeeded by||Fred W. Scoralick|
|Public Works Commissioner in Shreveport, Louisiana|
November 9, 1970 – November 27, 1978
|Succeeded by||Position abolished under new city charter|
|Secretary-Treasurer, Caddo Parish Police Jury (now Caddo Parish Commission)|
May 1967 – 1970
|Preceded by||Robert S. Cavett|
|Succeeded by||Joe Abramson|
Shreveport, Caddo Parish
|Spouse(s)||Betty Lou Moore Hathaway|
|Children||Bridget Hathaway Bell
Paige Hathaway Wolfe
|Alma mater||St. John Berchmans Cathedral School
|Occupation||Retired public official
|Religion||United Methodist Church|
|Service/branch||United States Navy|
Donald Edgar Hathaway, Sr., known as Don Hathaway (born October 1928), is a businessman and retired politician from his native Shreveport, Louisiana. From 1970 to 1978, Hathaway, a Democrat, was his city's last public works commissioner, an office abolished effective November 1978 with the implementation of a new city charter. From 1980 to 2000, he was the sheriff of Caddo Parish in the northwestern corner of his state.
- 1 Background
- 2 Political life
- 2.1 Shreveport public works commissioner, 1970-1978
- 2.2 Caddo Parish sheriff, 1980-2000
- 3 Hathaway Collection
- 4 References
Hathaway attended the Roman Catholic St. John Berchman's Cathedral School in Shreveport through the eighth grade. He graduated in 1946 from the public C. E. Byrd High School in Shreveport. In 2000, he was inducted into the Byrd Hall of Fame, along with the songwriter Tillman Franks and B. L. "Buddy" Shaw, a former Byrd principal and a member of both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature.Hathaway served in the United States Navy.
Hathaway subsequently was the student body president of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, from which in 1951, he received a degree in business administration. Hathaway is a former member, officer, and president of the Louisiana Tech Alumni Association and was the original secretary-treasurer in 1962 of the Louisiana Tech Foundation, whose membership included later state court Judge Charles A. Marvin.
In 2012, Hathaway was part of the fundraising campaign for the renovation of the floor and the renaming of the Robert "Scotty" Robertson Memorial Gymnasium, an alternate practice facility for the Bulldogs and Lady Techsters basketball teams, named for the eight-time Hall of Famer, Coach Scotty Robertson.
Hathaway was an active member and president of the Shreveport Junior Chamber International, often called the Jaycees. He is a former Chamber of Commerce director. He has been affiliated with the American Legion and the Forty and Eight veterans organizations as well as Kiwanis International. He is a long-term member of the Noel Memorial United Methodist Church in Shreveport.
After his term as sheriff, Hathaway began working in commercial real estate and was for a time affiliated with Walker-Alley & Associates in Shreveport. He is also in the general insurance business in Shreveport.
Hathaway is married to the former Betty Lou Moore (born January 1933), formerly of Minden in Webster Parish. She is the daughter of Reece E. Moore (1905-1970) and the former Frances Willene Herring (1913-1989), who are interred at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Haughton in Bossier Parish. The Hathaways have three children, Bridget H. Bell; Paige H. Wolfe (born March 1963), and Donald Hathaway, Jr. (born April 1965), who is an attorney in the Shreveport firm of Fischer, Hathaway & Manno and a former Caddo Parish assistant district attorney.The junior Hathaway is married to the former Camille Latour, the daughter of Thomas G. Latour, Sr. (1936-2012), who was a physician/psychiatrist and thoroughbred and quarter horse racer from Indian Bayou in Vermilion Parish in southwestern Louisiana. Don and Camille Hathaway have two sons, Donald Hathaway, III, and Thomas Hathaway.
After working during the 1950s and early 1960s in banking, Hathaway joined the staff of the Caddo Parish Police Jury in 1962. He was named secretary-treasurer of the jury on May 10, 1967.The police jury, the traditional governing body of the parish, was renamed in 1984 as the Caddo Parish Commission.
Shreveport public works commissioner, 1970-1978
Hathaway stepped down as police jury secretary-treasurer in 1970 to contest the office of Shreveport public works commissioner under the then commission form of city government. He replaced an interim commissioner who had taken office on January 1, 1969, following the resignation of the 34-year incumbent, H. Lane Mitchell, who was caught up in a 1971 scandal involving four counts of theft in the office which he had already vacated.
Hathaway was one of five citywide elected commissioners who acted in both executive and legislative roles in the governance of Shreveport municipal affairs for an eight-year period. He presided over the public works department as an executive and cast a single vote on the Shreveport City Council, when in met in public session. His administration of the office coincided with that of Mayor Calhoun Allen, who was technically the "commissioner of administration". Hathaway's council colleagues included fellow Democrat Public Utilities Commissioner William "Bill" Collins, and after Collins resigned in 1977, Billy Guin, a Republican who served for the remaining year-and-a-half in that position, as well as Finance Commissioner George A. Burton, the first Republican to hold Shreveport municipal office since Reconstruction, and Public Safety Commissioner George W. D'Artois, who was forced from office in the summer of 1976 in another corruption scandal.
D'Artois corruption case
Under pressure from the business community, the city council unanimously announced in the spring of 1976 that it would investigate Commissioner D'Artois regarding a series of corruption cases in the public safety department. When public opinion swung against the council members for "investigating themselves", Mayor Allen called for the probe to be turned over to the office of Attorney General William J. Guste. Allen and D'Artois were previously allies on the council, but Hathaway had often opposed them both. When Allen called for D'Artois to step down from office voluntarily while the state probe proceeded, Hathaway said that he thought that it made little difference whether D'Artois remained in office while the investigation was underway because he believed that Guste's staff would regardless conduct a thorough, fair investigation. Guste's investigators soon indicated the probe would go beyond the public safety department, with an investigation of Mayor Allen and Utilities Commissioner Collins as well. D'Artois did not step down voluntarily but was forced to resign on August 6, 1976, when he was arrested for conspiracy to murder his former advertising specialist, James S. "Jim" Leslie (1937-1976) of Shreveport. He died of complications of heart surgery ten months later in June 1977 in San Antonio, Texas. Many unanswered questions remained,such as what role if any D'Artois had in the assassination of Jim Leslie.
Challenge to commission form of government
The interest group, Blacks United for Lasting Leadership, Inc., an African American civil rights organization in Shreveport, filed a class action lawsuit against the City of Shreveport to force an end to the commission form of government. In 1974, blacks constituted 32 percent of the Shreveport population, but no African American had served on the city council, which since 1910 had consisted of five commissioners, including the mayor. By the time of the 2010 U.S. Census forty years later, Shreveport was nearly 55 percent black in population. BULL alleged that the inherent at-large feature of the commission government operated unconstitutionally to dilute the votes of blacks. The United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana agreed and declared the commission government unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The decision was affirmed in March 1978 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.
Shreveport hence switched to the mayor-council form of government with the fast-approaching 1978 elections, when Commissioner Don Hathaway ran a strong but losing race for mayor to then automobile dealer, William T. "Bill" Hanna, who made issue that he was an "outsider" to the troubles that had befallen City Hall, now called Government Plaza, during the preceding term of office. Utilities Commissioner Billy Guin was another unsuccessful candidate for mayor in the September 16 nonpartisan blanket primary, also known as the jungle primary.
Days after his defeat for mayor, Hathaway on November 21, 1978, Hathaway joined Mayor-elect Hanna, outgoing Mayor Allen, and outgoing Commissioner Guin for the dedication of a new Exhibition Hall on the riverfront, a structure later named in Allen's honor,now known as StageWorks of Louisiana.
Caddo Parish sheriff, 1980-2000
Duties as sheriff
Hathaway soon rebounded politically upon his election late in 1979 as Caddo Parish sheriff and ex officio tax collector, a position which he held with little opposition thereafter through his retirement in July 2000. In his last election in October 1995, Hathway polled nearly two thirds of the ballots cast against two opponents, a fellow Democrat, Jerry Henderson, and Donnie Ray O'Briant, a Republican. The sheriff in Caddo Parish frequently serves multiple terms; Hathaway's predecessor, Harold Monroe Terry (born September 1925), is the exception. Terry served only one term from 1976 to 1980, the shortest tenure of any Caddo Parish sheriff in the 20th century.
Under Hathaway, the sheriff's department increased over two decades from 150 to 600 deputies; the budget, from $8 million to $32 million annually. He introduced programs to assist deputies enrolled in higher education programs. He altered recruiting and hiring to incorporate background checks and polygraphs. Homer C. Bryant, Jr. (1924-1999), a Shreveport native and Purple Heart recipient during World War II, was Hathaway's major in charge of criminal investigations; a polygraph examiner, he was particularly known for his expertise and dedication to law enforcement.
Hathaway standardized compensation and introduced incentive pay. Hathaway brought all divisions of the office into three functional components: (1) Administration, (2) Detention, and (3) Operations. He computerized the tax division, record keeping, and collections departments. He doubled the number of deputies on patrol. He created or expanded already existing special teams for hazardous materials, special response, search and rescue, and helicopter monitoring. He established substations at strategic locations.
In 1982, Caddo sheriff's deputies responded to a call of an abandoned 36-hour-old infant boy weighing seven pounds, wrapped only in a towel, and in excellent condition. He was found in a carport at a house on Red Oak Lane along with an attached note asking that good parents be found. The child was taken to LSU Medical Center pediatric services for transition to proper authorities. Hathaway said, "We probably have to assume the baby was not hospital-delivered, if only because hospitals [then] usually keep newborns longer than thirty-six hours. On the other hand, if the baby were home-delivered and without the help of a doctor, there would be no record of birth." Chief deputy David Milton Almond (1937-2003) said that the abandonment was only the second such case that he had witnessed in his then seventeen years in law enforcement.
In 1987, Hathaway announced that his deputies engaging in undercover drug purchases had obtained thirty warrants and made at least seventeen arrests. All suspects were booked with distributing such substances as amphetamines, marijuana, cocaine, and valium. One suspect was charged with the distribution of a false representation of a controlled dangerous substance.
In 1983, Hathaway had introduced the canine corps for use in narcotics detection. In 1998, Caddo deputies with the help of drug-sniffing dogs uncovered two bags at the Greyhound bus station in Shreveport containing $310,000 and $20,000 in narcotics. A Pensacola man caught by random search with $4,000 in his possession confessed to owning the two unclaimed bags. Hathaway said the $314,000 was "by far the largest amount of money we've picked up in this type of investigation." Sixty percent of the funds went to sheriff' department coffers.
In 1983, Sheriff Hathaway was part of a contingent of six hundred supporters of Edwin Edwards who joined Edwards in a celebratory tour of France and Belgium. The tab of $10,000 per person was used to retire Edwards's 1983 campaign debt of $4.2 million. Edwards had just scored his third term as governor by unseating the Republican David C. Treen. On a train in Paris, Hathaway was presented a drawing on a menu of an oak tree by the Louisiana artist George Rodrigue before Rodrigue became famous with his blue dog symbol. In 2004, Rodrigue came to Shreveport with incoming Governor Kathleen Blanco and made an appearance at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum, where he autographed Hathaway's menu from more than twenty years earlier.
In 1984, in a celebration of Freddie Spencer's victory the previous year in the 500cc Grand Prix World Championship in motorcycle racing, Hathaway made Spencer an "honorary deputy" as the Shreveort native returned home for "Freddie Spencer Day", declared by Mayor John Brennan Hussey.
As sheriff, Hathaway found himself frequently at odds with his two former employers as police jury treasurer and as public works commissioner, the Caddo Parish Commission and the City of Shreveport, in regard to the financial cost of housing inmates at the Caddo Correctional Institute, a penal farm at Spring Ridge near Keithville in southern Caddo Parish known for a high rate of unrest and inmate escape. On May 17, 1992, deputy Darren Wayne Hill claimed serious brain injuries sustained during a riot at CCI. Hill hence filed suit against Hathaway on the grounds that the sheriff was negligent in maintaining order at the facility. However, Hill never won a judgment through the Louisiana Circuit Court of Appeal for the Second District in Shreveport because of procedural errors in his claim. Hill had sought financial relief through the Sheriff's Pension and Relief Fund as well as damages.
Originally, Sheriff Hathaway was responsible only for the jail within the courthouse in Shreveport. On April 6, 1982, however, the sheriff's department assumed full operational control of the penal farm from the former police jury, the predecessor of the Caddo Parish Commission. Hathaway renamed the facility the Caddo Detention Center. In time, Hathaway was overrun with the increasing number of inmates and the associated rising costs to shelter them. Hathaway said that CDC could not adequately accommodate some 375 inmates, more than two thirds of whom were blacks, with some "murderers and rapists". Hathaway also said the community needed adequate psychiatric services because numerous inmates were mental cases in need of medical treatment.Early in 1982, a 17-year-old bank robbery suspect, Jerry Anderson, leaped eight stories to his death while in custody at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport. Questions arose as to whether the youth was depressed or having a seizure. The sheriff's department investigation determined that young Anderson was suicidal. The suspect was in leg chains and under guard by a private security firm, rather than a sheriff's deputy. Hathaway said the department had too few deputies to guard individual prisoners and had to hire outside assistance in such cases.
On November 23, 1988, two inmates attacked the 26-year-old deputy, known only as "Mick", who was on guard at CDC in the section called "West Max" after he led a group of prisoners outside for their exercise routine. The men were taken to an area called the "bullpen", which was reinforced with razor wire to lessen the success of escape attempts. Under a dead-lock head-lock, the deputy barely escaped with his life, but security personnel came to his defense in time. The attack was touched off when the deputy told an inmate that he could not wear a blue bandana on his head, a symbol of gangs. The incident was one of numerous reported cases of violence in the CDC. Mick reported that his family safety was in jeopardy for a time because one of the inmates seized his paycheck which happened to be in his pocket. The check revealed the deputy's family address.
In a court case, the State of Louisiana ruled that the Caddo Parish Commission was primarily responsible for the maintenance cost of the CDC prisoners, rather than the City of Shreveport or the sheriff's department.In 1995, the detention center ceased housing parish prisoners after the opening on Forum Drive in north Shreveport of a new 1,070-bed facility called Caddo Correctional Center, a structure that Hathaway had urged since he became sheriff. Still operational, this jail is designed to manage a large number of inmates with relatively few personnel. CCC is the largest facility of its kind in the tri-state area of Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas.In 1999, Hathaway was sued by a CCC inmate, Charles Barr, who alleged that he slipped and fell on the wet floor of his cell, which caused a personal injury that required major medical treatment. Barr's "inmate grievance" was dismissed on the grounds that his injury was a result of diabetes. Hathaway prevailed in the ruling from the Second District Appeals Court by showing that the in-house grievance procedure is not subject to judicial review and that Barr did not seek redress through tort action as required in such circumstances.
In 1990, Hathaway brought to Shreveport the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, first established by Daryl Gates, the chief of the Los Angeles Police Department from 1978 to 1992.Hathaway started a "Senior Citizen Academy" in which older residents, many foster grandparents, completed a 14-hour curriculum that gave them an overview of the operations of the sheriff's office as well as practical safety tips.
From 1994 to 1996, Hathaway was president of the Northwest Law Enforcement Planning Agency.In 2000, shortly after he left the sheriff's office, the Northwest agency honored Hathaway for his twenty years of leadership in the department. The award was presented by neighboring Bossier Parish Sheriff Larry Deen.
From 1996 to 1997, Hathaway was the president of the National Sheriffs' Association, one of only six sheriffs in Louisiana since the creation of the organization in 1938 to have held that position, as of 2014.
Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act
In 1995, questions arose when the Caddo Sheriff's department under Hathaway denied a gun permit to a Shreveport liquor store clerk, Philip Russell Coleman. When Coleman was informed of the sheriff's department decision, he told the pawn shop owner where he intended to buy a weapon that he would go to see the deputies in an attempt to resolve the matter, which Coleman assumed was a "mistake". Before Coleman could get his weapon permit, however, he was shot to death in a holdup. He was forty-two. Hathaway said that there was apparently justification for initially denying Coleman's application but that when Coleman came to the office, his application was approved. National radio commentator Paul Harvey aired the Coleman story on one of his broadcasts. Many used the Coleman case to show the unintended consequences of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, which requires a waiting period for background checks for citizens seeking to purchase handguns.
- "Don Hathaway, October 1928". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved June 12, 2014.
- In Shreveport and in other cities with the commission form of government, the commissioner exercised legislative functions on the city council and an executive role as a municipal department head. This position should not be confused with a county commissioner, most of whom were and still are elected by single-member districts. County commissioners are the "legislators" of a county (called parish in Louisiana), with the county judge normally in the role of the "executive" head of the county. In Louisiana, the executive of the parish may be known as the police jury president, the president of the parish, or a parish "administrator", depending on the structure of the parish government. City commissioners could not be chosen on a district basis, as their administrative duties affected the entire city. African Americans were not then elected to city government in most parts of the South. Soon an outcry in the Civil rights movement raised legal challenges to the city commission governments.
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|Sheriff of Caddo Parish, Louisiana
Donald Edgar "Don" Hathaway, Sr.
John J. Pierpont of Greene County, Missouri
|President of the National Sheriffs' Association
Donald Edgar "Don" Hathaway, Sr.
Fred W. Scoralick of Dutchess County, New York