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Guillory: Relationship with Sheriff factored into Aguillard decision

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Posted at 1:39 PM, Jan 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 14:43:00-05

Although he hasn't answered the question when reporters asked over the past several days, Mayor President Josh Guillory said on his radio call-in show this morning that he asked for the Police Chief's resignation in part because of administrative strife with Sheriff Mark Garber.

"I saw where we could have better leadership, I made a decision, he resigned, I thank him for his service. He's a good man, it's not personal, it's not political," Guillory said.

Guillory added that he has been evaluating all departments and department heads and will continue to do so.

Guillory will have a regular call-in radio show on KPEL. You can listen to the first episode here.

The tension between the chief and the sheriff is long-standing. In 2018, Garber proposed a tax that would have provided pay raises to his deputies and other law enforcement in the parish. Aguillard opposed it. His boss, former Mayor Joel Robideaux, never took a position.

Garber was obviously not happy about that. And, the tax failed.

Last year, the sheriff (who is an attorney) filed suit against the Parish of Lafayette after the City-Parish Council rejected his request for additional funds to run the parish jail. His lawsuit demands that the parish pay at least part of what he says the parish is responsible for under the law. On Monday, the city-parish filed a reconventional demand in that suit.

When asked by KPEL if Garber was involved in the decision to ask for Aguillard's resignation, Guillory responded:

"Directly, no. Part of my decision making process was a signficant hit to their relationship between the police department and the sheriff department. It's not the patrol officers out there, that's a leadership issue," he said.

Guillory said he knows his administration will have a good relationship with Garber. He acknowledged there will be disagreements, but said there's no reason to be disagreeable.

Regarding the litigation with Garber, Guillory said he thinks that will be resolved in the next couple months.

During the radio show, Guillory also reiterated his plan to scrap the Unifed Development Code, and said he plans to hire a chief of minority affairs.