Former airport director said to have wielded fake gun in argument with engineer _lowres

Greg Roberts

The former aviation director at Lafayette Regional Airport will not be charged with a crime for pointing a fake gun at an engineer after a disagreement in June, Lafayette Parish District Attorney Mike Harson said Wednesday.

Greg Roberts, who had worked at the airport for 21 years, resigned days after a June 11 incident with the engineer, when he reportedly went to his office desk after a meeting and pulled out the fake gun used in security training.

No one was injured in the incident.

“We have decided not to prosecute the matter,” Harson said. “We have discussed the matter with the victim in the case, and he has indicated a desire to drop the matter and not pursue.

“We will follow his wishes,” Harson said in an email.

Lafayette Airport Commission Chairman Matt Cruse, who placed Roberts on administrative leave and asked the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office to investigate the possible crime, did not immediately return a message left with his office Wednesday afternoon seeking comment.

Roberts also did not return a call.

The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office reported the victim was engineer George Glaubrecht, the president and CEO of Lafayette civil engineering firm Domingue, Szabo & Associates. The firm was working with airport personnel on the Bell Helicopter plant, which will be constructed on airport grounds.

Glaubrecht, Roberts and current interim Aviation Director Mike Burrows were among a group that met in Roberts’ office June 11, a Wednesday, according to a report by the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office.

In the meeting, according to the sheriff’s report, Roberts implied that Glaubrecht should ask the Lafayette Airport Commission who would pay for a required environmental assessment of the land on which Bell will build its assembly plant.

Glaubrecht told Roberts going to the commission with that question was “not an engineering issue, but a policy issue,” and that the commission had shouldered the cost of environmental studies before as an incentive to attract businesses to the airpark.

Roberts walked to his desk, grabbed the fake gun, pointed it at Glaubrecht then said “notice my finger was not on the trigger,” the report states. Roberts never told any of those attending the meeting that the gun was not real, the report states.

The report also references a statement made by one of the officials who attended the meeting, Daniel Elsea, who said Roberts did not appear to be angry when he pointed the fake gun at Glaubrecht, and that “no person showed any signs of being disturbed, shaken or impacted by Greg’s actions.”

The commission placed Burrows in the interim director position immediately after Roberts resigned June 15.

The commission plans to conduct a national search for a director and have that person in the job by late fall, commission Chairman Cruse said recently.

The airport has tens of millions of dollars in projects ongoing or scheduled to start within a year that will fall under the direction of the aviation director.