Former Lafayette, Louisiana Police Chief Says He Was Fired Because He’s Back, Files Suit
LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - Thomas Glover, the former police chief for Lafayette, has filed a new lawsuit, claiming that he was fired from his previous post because of his race.
According to our news partners at KATC, Glover "alleges that the reasons given since then for his termination are 'false and pretextual.'"
The suit alleges a meeting with CAO Cydra Wingerter, during which he was told he had failed to meet goals - which he said he had never seen before. They included goals like "Fix PD" and "Find Crime/Fight Crime," and, Glover alleges, he was told he had failed to drop the crime rate - even though those rates aren't calculated until the end of the calendar year. Additionally, the crime rate decreased during his tenure, the suit alleges.
The current police chief, Judith Estorge, is the sixth police chief since 2020, KATC also noted. When Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory took office, he requested the resignation of then-Chief Toby Aguillard. Lt. Scott Morgan was appointed as interim chief while Lafayette underwent a search for a new chief.
Glover was hired from the Dallas Police Department but was let go 10 months later. He was replaced by Sgt. Wayne Griffin in the interim, but Griffin was later placed on leave pending a sexual harassment investigation. He was replaced by Major Monte Potier, who held the job for a year until Estorge was officially named to take the top spot in October 2022.
Glover filed a discrimination complaint with the EEOC and was given a "right to sue" letter last fall, according to his suit. He also appealed his firing to the Lafayette Fire and Police Civil Service Board, which ultimately upheld the termination. Glover has since appealed the board's decision.
The allegation of racism in the suit stems in part from a change in police union leadership.
The suit states that "During Mr. Glover’s tenure at LCG, a White man assumed the position of Police Union President. On reasonable information and belief, about two weeks after this turnover, union leadership requested a meeting with Mayor-President Guillory. In a meeting with Mayor-President Guillory, leaders of the Police Union reportedly requested that Plaintiff be terminated because Mr. Glover had terminated two (2) White officers for using excessive force on handcuffed prisoners and terminated a Black officer who had tested positive for illegal drug use. LCG and Guillory terminated Mr. Glover because of his race."