Lafayette Police Chief, Toby Aguillard, resigns
LAFAYETTE - A spokesperson with the Lafayette Police Department says Lafayette Police Chief, Toby Aguillard, has resigned.
LPD Cpl. Bridgette Dugas told KATC reporters Aguillard resigned the same day Mayor-President Josh Guillory was sworn into office.
Lt. Scott Morgan was announced as the interim police chief.
KATC says Aguillard released a statement to his department, regarding his decision:
After careful thought and prayerful reflection, I have decided to resign as Chief of Police of Lafayette, effective Jan. 6, 2020. I will forever be grateful for having had the opportunity to lead one of the finest police departments in our country.
Lafayette's history has proven that a legal battle between the chief of police and a newly elected mayor causes disruption and stress among the officers, the parties involved and the citizens. I have no desire to be a part of such turmoil. I hope that my resigning will allow the department and the community to move forward.
Know that I have developed a deep admiration for the men and women of the Lafayette Police Department and I will continue to pray for their safety and success.
I sincerely thank the citizens of Lafayette for their support and I look forward to staying here in Acadiana with my family for years to come.
The local NAACP, in turn, released the following statement on the matter:
The NAACP will continue to monitor the situation.
We wish Chief Aguillard the very best is all his future endeavors.
We are interested in learning why our Mayor-President appointed a Lieutenant as interim Chief, when there is the Deputy Chief already in position. A Lieutenant is 3 ranks below the Deputy Chief rank. Deputy Chief Reginald Thomas was interim chief for 11 months prior to the arrival of Chief Aguillard.
Why would our Mayor- President Josh Guillory bypass a qualified African American Deputy Chief? Those are the questions needing answers!
Less than a month ago, The Advocate reported that Aguillard said he had no intention of resigning.
According to The Advocate, Aguillard said he expected Mayor-President Guillory to follow through with a threat to fire him on the day he was sworn into office and that he would respond by filing an appeal with the Lafayette Police and Fire Civil Service Board.
Aguillard said he learned of Guillory's plan to fire him when the two were scheduled to meet to discuss the chief's plans for the department.
Apparently, as the two men sat down, before those plans could be discussed, Guillory insinuated that Aguillard should either resign or be fired.
After the tense exchange, Aguillard spoke to reporters about the incident and said he believed he was being targeted for not participating in the heated race for mayor-president.
"He (Guillory) made it very clear this is simply about politics," Aguillard told the Advocate. "I believe that's why civil service exists. I intend to fight it."
In a news release distributed Dec. 9, Guillory announced his plan to replace Aguillard as well as the directors of the community development and public works department.