Interim Lafayette Police Chief Wayne Griffin has been placed on administrative leave after LCG launched an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment at the department.
According to a release from LCG, a statement of alleged sexual harassment involving Griffin was delivered Thursday afternoon to LCG's Human Resources Manager.
LCG's Human Resources Department, in coordination with the LPD's Internal Affairs, is immediately launching an investigation into the alleged matter, LCG says. Griffin is being placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.
“This Administration has zero tolerance for sexual harassment. We also have zero tolerance for retaliation, either directly, indirectly, through third parties, and/or any other manner. The Administration also respects Due Process. We take this matter seriously. I trust in the training, experience, and professionalism of our Human Resources Manager to lead a fair and impartial investigation," Guillory said.
LCG's release states that all parties are to not destroy or hide any material or evidence associated with alleged matter and shall comply with the investigation to the fullest extent of the law and in full compliance with the law.
Community activist Marja Broussard brought up the possibility of a forthcoming allegation at Tuesday's City Council meeting: "You know that he's about to be brought up on some allegations of sexual harassment," she said to Guillory.
KATC reached out to LCG regarding the comment; Chief Communications Officer Jamie Angelle said Tuesday night, "As of now, that is a rumor, there's been no formal complaint filed. I'm not going to speculate on Marja's speculation."
Broussard posted the following statement on her Facebook page Thursday evening following the news of the investigation:
"I’d like to commend the woman who came forth with her sexual harassment complaint against police chief Wayne Griffin. We know decisions like this are difficult, but she is proving herself to be an example to others in our community. No one should be subjected to unwanted sexual advances in the workplace. It took a lot of courage to come forth, putting her job and reputation on the line. We pray that she and her family will continue to rise up during this difficult but empowering time.
The Josh Guillory administration has attacked female, black and marginalized people throughout this year and a half that he has been mayor. Tuesday evening the Guillory regime denied knowledge of wrong doing on the part of newly appointed chief Wayne Griffin. Another lie! A complaint was initially filed on Monday, which is why I was able to boldly confront Mayor Guillory about the sexual harassment allegations during Tuesday’s council meeting. Denial is always a tactic of entities who do not wish to be transparent, but it is imperative for law enforcement agencies in the United States, Louisiana, and Lafayette, to promote transparency and trust with the community they supposedly protect and serve. For Chief Griffin and Josh Guillory to deny the allegations, the allegations referenced during the council meeting…well, obviously honesty and trust are not their concern. We celebrate the brave steps taken by this, as yet, un-named woman and condemn the cowardly actions of this administration.
Mayor Guillory, why fire, with impunity, an honest, upstanding chief like Thomas Glover? Is this a continuation of your attack upon the Black and Brown communities as you align yourself with people who only tell you what you want to hear? As I expressed at the city council meeting, this is the last straw! We will not allow you to tear down our community while we remain silent. You and your cronies will be called out every time you terrorize our people while basking in white privilege. We will fight for our children and our elderly so they do not have to live in a community that is seen through the distopian lense of the likes of Mayor Josh Guillory.
SHAME, SHAME, SHAME ON YOU JOSH GUILLORY!!"
Major Monte Potier is taking command of the department until further notice. Potier is a graduate of Rayne High School who served in the Army and worked at the UL Lafayette Police Department before joining LPD, where he's served for nearly 30 years.
Potier will be the fifth police chief to serve during Mayor-President Josh Guillory's administration. The shakeup under the administration started the day Guillory was inaugurated, when former chief Toby Aguillard resigned. Scott Morgan then served as interim chief until Thomas Glover was hired in December 2020. When Glover was fired two weeks ago, Griffin, who was also a finalist for the job, was selected as interim.
The Police Chief Search Committee, who helped select the top applicants, said they found Griffin highly qualified for the position. The 19-year veteran of LPD previously served as SWAT commander and worked in the training, recruiting, patrol, narcotics, and SRO divisions of the department.
Guillory said Thursday morning on KPEL's Lafayette Live that there was no search scheduled for a permanent chief.
"As of right now there's no search scheduled and we're taking it day by day. I have all the competence in the world in Chief Griffin," Guillory stated. "So far I'm seeing him do great things. Great leadership, good pause about him, observing everything, keeping what's good, developing what things we can develop. Very proud to serve with him."
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