Two Crowley Police officers have sued Chief Jimmy Broussard in federal court, alleging that he retaliated against them after they cooperated in an investigation into his conduct.
Broussard was indicted by a grand jury in February on four counts of malfeasance in office, one count of obstruction of justice, and one count of attempted first-degree injuring of public records. All six charges are felonies; he has pleaded not guilty to all charges and his attorney says they plan to proceed to trial.
That attorney, William Goode, said his client hadn't been served with the lawsuit as of Wednesday afternoon and so they won't have a comment on it yet.
The suit accuses Broussard of violations of the federal whistle-blower law, civil rights acts and the First Amendment. It also names the city of Crowley and the Crowley Police Department.
The suit, filed last week, alleges "retaliatory actions taken by Chief Allen James “Jimmy” Broussard against Sergeant Nicholas Penn and Captain Tammy Mallet for their cooperation in the investigation into Chief Broussard’s criminal conduct. Additionally, Chief Broussard, the Crowley Police Department, and the City of Crowley have started a campaign against Sgt. Penn and Cpt. Tammy through a series of event that will be more thoroughly described below, and as such, Petitioners seek damages..."
The lawsuit lists a number of allegations about that "retaliation," including the "shuffling" of Mallet's job duties and those of her fiance co-worker, as well as the hiring of a woman she had accused of stalking her.
"The repeated actions taken by Chief Broussard to unjustly punish Sgt. Penn and Cpt. Mallet for their cooperation with the investigation into his criminal conduct while in office is the proximate cause of continuing medical issues for Petitioners. Both Petitioners have recently, due to the incredible stress of these situations, experienced stress related health issues such as elevated
anxiety and blood pressure," the suit alleges.
The suit narrates several situations that arose, including an investigation of lost evidence, department-wide emails, a Civil Service hearing about a change in Mallet's job duties and about Penn and Mallet taking evidence of alleged wrong-doing to the District Attorney.
Here's the petition if you'd like to read it: