Loose Lips

Why Was PSPD Chief Lou Cannon Fired?

When last we heard of former Protective Services Police Chief Lou Cannon he had just been fired, allegedly for some incident involving the Occupy D.C. movement, the Wilson Building, and the District of Columbia flag.

The firing occurred a few weeks after Cannon sued the city in federal court over pay issues, and Cannon says he was fired as payback for filing the lawsuit. Since being fired, he's amended his lawsuit to allege that the city defamed him and violated his First Amendment rights as well as his rights as a District whistleblower.

Court records now provide a copy of Cannon's termination letter. The salient part of the letter explaining why he was fired:

Not a whole lot of specifics there. Cannon's attorney, Matt LeFande, says the city's rationale is bogus on several levels, including the fact that there's no documented proof that the city conducted any type of investigation into Cannon's alleged misdeeds.

An attorney for the city declined to comment on the ongoing lawsuit. The city's next filing, which may answer shed some more light into Cannon's firing, is due in a few days.

One other interesting nugget from the court records is a letter the city sent to Cannon last year informing him that he was no longer able to receive both a full salary and his pension. LL wrote a column last year about how two dozen retired MPD officers, including Cannon, had improperly—at least according to the District—been double-dipping, receiving both a full pension and salary. (Cannon, by the way, was picked by President Barack Obama to serve on the Federal Salary Council, which advises the president on salary issues for federal employees.)

In its letter to Cannon, the city says that it's not going after any backpay the city was owed "in order to minimize financial hardship to you."

That's a whole lot different reason from what Gray administration officials told LL. "While I would have preferred to seek repayment, our counsel informed us that our legal case was not strong," Gray said in a statement.


  • Just Curious


    Can you post the complaint/amended complaint or links to the same?

  • Solrac

    I work across from freedom plaza & have seen dcps systematically harass & abuse their authority, regarding the occupy dc protesters. I'm sure mr. Cannon was aware of the actions & adversarial attitudes the officers under his command. This may be an example of karma coming back on him.

  • http://www.lefande.com Matthew LeFande

    Some of the court filings are posted here:



    Lou Cannon is not alone in his fleecing of the City by retired employees.The Department Of Correction has been doing it for years.Retirees come back and hold positions after their mandatory retirements.At age 57 most DC DOC civil service employees are mandatory retired, but they come back until they are well into their sixies or seventies.This pratice does not allow for promotions or advancement to deserving employees. Funny the city wants to reduce unemployment but most retirees live in MD or VA

  • GJ

    Fleecing the city? These folks paid into a retirement system and earned a pension. If you think for a minute that the city did not know that these guys were retired MPD you'er missing something. This has been going on for years and was a political move.

  • Just Curious

    @ Matthew - Awesome and helpful! Thank you. Is there a way to access these and other similar filings?

  • http://www.lefande.com Matthew LeFande

    Any recent federal case can be accessed from PACER.

    It requires registration and there is a $.10 charge per downloaded page.