NewsLafayette Parish


Candidate withdraws consideration for Lafayette Police Chief position

Lafayette Police Department
Posted at 9:44 AM, Sep 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-16 13:13:19-04

Retired FBI special agent, Charles DeLaughter, withdrew his consideration for the Lafayette Police Chief position via email.

“I regret to inform you that I am withdrawing my name for consideration for the position of Lafayette Police Chief. I have accepted another position and will not be proceeding with the interview portion of the hiring process. Thank you for the opportunity and I wish you, Mayor Guillory and the people of Lafayette well in placing the next Police Chief. Thank you.”

LCG officials said the remaining three candidates will be interviewed by Mayor-President Josh Guillory and three committees consisting of City Council members and other community stakeholders on October 13, 2022.

We previously reported, four of the five people who applied to be Lafayette's next police chief posted a qualifying score on the state civil service test for the position, records provided by the Fire & Police Civil Service Board indicate.

Nine people applied to be Lafayette's sixth police chief since January 2020. Of those, five were found to meet the required qualifications and were allowed to take the state test.

On Wednesday, the Lafayette Fire and Police Civil Service Board certified the test scores of the five candidates who took the test, and four met the minimum required score of 75, the records show.

The four remaining candidates scored as follows: former Louisiana State Trooper Brian Ardoin scored an 81; Lafayette police Sgt. Dorian Brabham scored an 88; retired FBI special agent Charles DeLaughter scored a 76; and Lafayette police Cmdr. Judith Estorge scored a 76, the fire and police board said.

Lafayette Police Department Maj. Dewitt Sheridan scored a 67 on the exam, below the required score of 75 to advance in the process. The passing score is set by state law; the test also is a state test.

Here's a thumbnail of the four remaining candidates' resumes:

Ardoin is the owner/operator of a driving school in Mamou. He also has worked at LSU at Eunice as Director of Public Protection and Safety, and served as a Louisiana State Trooper for 10 years. He has a bachelor's degree from McNeese and a master's degree from Southern University. Ardoin graduated from the State Police Academy and is a licensed Louisiana Notary. He's a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and a native of Ville Platte.

Brabham is a Sergeant with the Lafayette Police Department. He has a degree in criminal justice from Columbia Southern University and is a graduate of the Louisiana POST academy. He has worked for the LPD for 20 years, working on major investigations, assigning cases and assisting with unsolved cases.

DeLaughter is a retired FBI Agent, having worked for the agency for 20 years. While there he worked cases in domestic terrorism, public corruption and homicide, as well as cold cases, drug and gang investigations and violence on Indian reservations. Prior to that he was a Jefferson Parish Sheriff's deputy for 19 years. While there, he worked in narcotics, juvenile, patrol and public relations. He has a degree in criminal justice from Loyola, and is a graduate of the FBI Training Academy and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Training Academy.

Estorge is a precinct commander who has worked for the Lafayette Police Department for 28 years. She has a degree in criminal justice from the University of Arkansas. As commander she's responsible for monitoring crime statistics and devising and implementing plans to curtail crime. She oversees the precinct budget, and makes contacts with community members, business owners and crime victims.

Back in January, LCG announced there would be a "national search" to fill the position.

Then in June, the Lafayette Fire and Police Civil Service Board extended the application period for another 30 days at the request of the Guillory administration so that a search firm can be hired. Search firms were consulted, but none were "hired" to do a search. In all, nine people applied and only one was not from Louisiana.

That was an outcome similar to that of the last "national search" that LCG conducted for a police chief, back in 2020. Read about that here.

The Lafayette Police Department has had five chiefs of police since January 2020.

When Josh Guillory took office, he requested that Chief Toby Aguillard resign, reportedly because of a poor relationship with Sheriff Mark Garber. Lt. Scott Morgan was appointed interim chief.

The Guillory administration then hired Chief Thomas Glover from the Dallas Police Department, and fired him 10 months later. Sgt. Wayne Griffin was appointed interim chief, but two weeks later was placed on administrative leave pending a sexual harassment investigation. He was later fired, as well.

The current interim chief, Major Monte Potier, was appointed in October 2021.