Police Association's president takes legal action after becoming subject of investigation
LAFAYETTE - The President of the Police Association of Lafayette and the Lafayette Police Department are at odds over differing opinions on a potential law that would govern how local police departments in Broussard, Carencro, Scott, and Youngsville fill vacant positions within their ranks.
According to KATC, Interim Lafayette Police Chief Scott Morgan revealed that Cpl. David Stanley, who works for the Lafayette Police Department and serves as the acting President of the Police Association of Lafayette Local #905, is the subject of an Internal Affairs Division investigation.
The reason for the investigation boils down to statements Stanley made in opposition to HB 577, which is currently pending before the Louisiana Legislature.
HB 577 allows for local police departments in Broussard, Carencro, Scott and Youngsville to promote vacant positions within their ranks for any reason rather than for those with the most seniority.
Stanley is being represented by Sudduth & Associates LLC, which serves as legal counsel for the Louisiana Union of Police Associations.
Sudduth sent a cease and desist letter to Morgan and Lafayette Consolidated Government, and the police chiefs of Scott, Carencro, Youngsville and Broussard. The letter was also mistakenly sent to Duson Police Chief Kip Judice, but a post from the police union say he is in no way related to the issue.
According to the letter, LPD engaged in "acts of unwarranted retaliatory action" against Stanley including the internal investigation and trying to remove him from his canine position to a patrol position.
The law firm writes this was done in relation to Local #905's public vote in opposition against HB 577 in January 2020. The letter also cites a second digital vote by Local 3905 in May 2020 against HB 577.
The letter also describes a May 15 social media post on Local #905's Facebook page that included a video about HB 577 that asked its viewers to vote against it.
The letter then states that Stanley was informed on May 22 about the internal investigation against him.
Morgan was asked about the letter in Tuesday's LCG press briefing about the investigation by a reporter.
"I can’t tell you too much on the insides of it or the information surrounding it obviously because it’s an internal type thing," said Morgan. "It’s not unusual."
Morgan said that LPD has an open policy and if a person has a complaint then they welcome them to call LPD and file a complaint, which can be done anonymously. Morgan said that someone can even file a complaint against LPD policies, and doesn’t necessarily have to be about somebody.
Morgan said that when LPD receives those complaints then they go through the motions.
"It’s not to say that anything will even come out of it, but we have to go through the process," said Morgan. "By our general orders we have to investigate it."
Morgan was asked about the cease and desist letter directly and if LPD would comply with it.
"Are you saying that someone can just send us a letter and we would comply? We’re not going to change our standards as far as we do our investigation, regardless of the letters," said Morgan. "The laws are the laws and the policies are what govern what we actually do and how we do our investigations."
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