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Lafayette, Louisiana looking for 6th police chief in 2 years

January 10, 2022 GMT

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana local government is looking for its sixth police chief in two years. During that time, the city-parish of Lafayette has had two permanent and three interim chiefs.

There’s no way to predict how long the search will take, Lafayette Consolidated Government spokesman Jamie Angelle said Monday.

“We’re barely in the starting process. We have meetings today” about how to conduct the search, he said.

Interim chief Wayne Griffin has been on administrative leave since Oct. 21, 2021 — two weeks after he took office — while the city-parish human resources department investigated a sexual misconduct complaint against him. An independent attorney oversaw the investigation to ensure impartiality, officials said.

The investigation is complete and Griffin was returned to his former rank as sergeant, while remaining on administrative leave, Angelle told news agencies last week.

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Griffin has no comment about the allegations or his demotion, attorney Allyson Melancon said Monday.

Maj. Monte Potier remains interim chief. The department will search nationally for a permanent chief, officials said.

The last chief to hold the job for more than four years was Jim Craft, who served from 2007 to 2016, The Advertiser reported.

His replacement, Chief Toby Aguillard, had been appointed by Mayor-President Joel Robideaux and resigned under pressure in January 2020, the day Mayor-President Josh Guillory took office.

Scott Morgan was interim chief until Thomas Glover Sr. was hired as Aguillard’s permanent replacement in December 2020. Guillory fired him without explanation in early October 2021, and Griffin became interim chief.

Glover, who had retired from the Dallas Police Department as a lieutenant commander and had served as president of the Black Police Association Of Greater Dallas, has appealed his dismissal.

His filing with the Lafayette Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board argues that he was not given enough time to prove himself in the position or deal with the concerns of government administrators.

The board agreed in November to hear his case but has not set a date.

Despite two national searches, Glover was the only one of six candidates who had worked outside Louisiana.

Angelle said the government, which advertised the position nationally before hiring Glover, is considering hiring a professional recruiting firm, The Advocate reported.

Last year’s small and locally skewed talent pool is one reason, he said.

“If there are people that are experienced in doing this, why wouldn’t we tap into their experience and try to find the best group of candidates that we can?” Angelle said.