LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux has issued a statement after a Lafayette Police Chief candidate told News 10 he withdrew his application due to “very unethical practices and conflicts of interest” in the process.
Statement from Mayor-President Robideaux:
“On September 14, the Fire and Police Civil Service Board certified six candidates for the permanent Chief of Police position after passing the required testing by the Louisiana State Examiner’s Office. Those candidates were: Toby Aguillard, Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office; James Benoit, Louisiana State Police; Forrest Blanton, Lafayette Police Department; Vaughn Burris, Lafayette Police Department; Joey Sturm, UL Police Department; Sammy Wyatt, LSU Office of Internal Audit.
Upon certification, Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux’s administration began the process of conducting background and reference checks and scheduling the first round of interviews with the six candidates. Robideaux called upon District Attorney Keith Stutes, Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mark Garber and Interim Chief of Police Reggie Thomas to aid in the initial interview process.
According to Robideaux, “As the three law enforcement officials that will work most closely with the new Chief, I look to the D.A., Sheriff and current Interim Chief for their unbiased and independent assessment of the candidates’ qualifications. Given their history and respective roles in law enforcement, I value their professional opinions on this important matter.”
All six of the certified candidates met with Stutes, Garber and Thomas for interviews on Monday and Tuesday of this week. ‘Based on the feedback from those interviews, I will determine which of the remaining candidates to grant final interviews,’ stated Robideaux. It has not yet been determined which of the candidates will receive final interviews.”