Arbitration to continue at later date as documents, witnesses fail to appear

Arbitration hearing of Mickey Sterling

Fired Port Arthur Det. Mickey Sterling’s arbitration hearing continued into its third day Nov. 16. But with no end yet in sight, arbitrator Don Hays postponed the hearing, and time will be set aside for him to hear the rest of the story at a later date. Hays indicated he hopes he will get the whole truth, and he is taking measures to ensure that he does.

Thus far, Sterling has failed to produce documentation such as tax statements requested by Bettye Lynn, the attorney representing the city, and multiple subpoenaed witnesses have failed to appear at the hearing, leading to suspicions voiced at the arbitration that Sterling is contacting them to tell them there would be no consequences for ignoring the subpoenas. Hays said, if necessary, he would legally compel the witnesses to appear to testify during the next part of the arbitration hearing. The witnesses could then face legal repercussions for failure to appear.

Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Det. Tom Savoie worked with Sterling at PAPD and at Professional Police Escorts of Southeast Texas (PPE), a private police escort service. Lynn asked Savoie if he had heard he did not need to attend the hearing. He confirmed someone had told him there would be no consequences if he did not respond to the subpoena but said he could not remember who. Lynn asked him if it was Sterling. He said, “No.”

Hays stopped the arbitration hearing midday Nov. 16 and asked that Sterling produce documents the former officer said were locked in his old office. After a field trip to the office during break, Sterling only produced a few receipts but reportedly did not come up with the tax statements requested. Hays wants to see those too before making a decision regarding Sterling’s termination from PAPD.

There is no set date yet for the continuation of the arbitration hearing.


The Examiner reported on Sterling’s termination arbitration last week. Shelly Ewan, a witness for the city who has a daughter, not a son as was reported last week, testified that she hired “self-proclaimed psychic” Karen Jannise to help with her child’s sexual assault case and that Jannise ultimately “tried to ruin” the investigation.

During a conversation with The Examiner, Ewan said she should never have trusted Jannise and described her as “a total fraud.” She provided screen shots of messages between herself and the psychic in which Jannise tells Ewan about placing bones in Carol Gauthier’s yard, a malicious act that Jannise confessed to at the arbitration.

Ewan said Jannise has posted antagonist comments on Facebook since Ewan’s testimony, calling Ewan a liar and claiming she herself has information she cannot share due to a “gag order.”

Krisandra Zapata also testified at Sterling’s arbitration about the search warrant executed on Gauthier and about Sterling’s treatment of Gauthier. She called and said she felt threatened since testifying. She alleges that her car was broken into the night of her testimony and that someone tied a rope attaching her steering column to her brake pedal. She said she also sustained $3,000 in property damage from vandalism in her back yard the following day. She reported both incidents to police.

The investigations into those incidents continue, as will Sterling’s termination arbitration.