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Interim Lafayette Police Chief Wayne Griffin addressed the City Council Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, for the first time since he was appointed by Mayor-President Josh Guillory on Oct. 7.

Interim Lafayette Police Chief Wayne Griffin has been put on leave following allegations of sexual harassment, officials announced Thursday evening.

The police department is launching an investigation into the allegations, according to a news release from Lafayette Consolidated Government.

Griffin will be placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, the release said. 

Mayor-President Josh Guillory ordered the suspension and investigation after a complaint was delivered to LCG Thursday afternoon.

“This administration has zero tolerance for sexual harassment,” Guillory said in the prepared statement. “We take this matter seriously. I trust in the training, experience, and professionalism of our human resources manager to lead a fair and impartial investigation.”

The announcement comes after community activist Marja Broussard alleged that Griffin may soon face a sexual harassment complaint during a Lafayette City Council meeting Tuesday. 

"I’d like to commend the woman who came forth with her sexual harassment complaint against police chief Wayne Griffin," said Broussard in a statement after Griffin was placed on leave. Broussard added that the complaint was initially filed on Monday and called the author a brave, "un-named woman." 

"We know decisions like this are difficult, but she is proving herself to be an example to others in our community," Broussard said. "No one should be subjected to unwanted sexual advances in the workplace."

At that city council meeting, Griffin would not address the complaint and said he had no plans to resign.

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"I certainly think it's the appropriate thing to do," City Council member Glenn Lazard said Thursday. "It's appropriate, but I'm just extremely frustrated with all the chaos. It undermines public confidence and trust in the police department and the decision making."

Maj. Monte Potier will take command of the Lafayette Police Department until further notice, according to the LCG statement.

Before being recruited by the Lafayette Police Department, where he has been for 27 years, Maj. Potier graduated from Rayne High School and worked for the University Police Department at UL-Lafayette, according to a 008 Magazine feature on him. He also served for four years in the Army. He previously served as an officer for the Police Association of Lafayette Local #905, the department's union. 

Griffin took over as police chief after former Chief Thomas Glover was fired by Guillory two weeks ago for undisclosed reasons. Glover said in a phone call Thursday night that he's disturbed by the allegations and had not received reports of harassment by Griffin during his tenure as chief. He initially urged community support of Griffin's role as interim chief, mostly to breed calm in the community during this uncertain period, he said. 

"When those allegations came out, I was severely upset," Glover said. "The culture of the Lafayette Police Department allows these things to happen...I don’t believe the Lafayette Police Department is going to rid itself of some of these issues until there’s truly an outside chief that comes in with the full support of the entire council and the mayor to clean it up." 

Since his firing, Glover has alleged that he may have been fired for political reasons, finding the support of Lafayette activists like Broussard.

"Mayor Guillory, why fire, with impunity, an honest, upstanding chief like Thomas Glover?" she said in the prepared statement after Griffin was placed on leave. "Is this a continuation of your attack upon the Black and Brown communities as you align yourself with people who only tell you what you want to hear?"

Staff reporters Katie Gagliano, Davide Mamone and Megan Wyatt contributed to this report. 


EMAIL JULIA GUILBEAU AT JGUILBEAU@THEADVOCATE.COM OR FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER, @JULIAGUILBEAU.