Glover Termination Upheld – What we have here is a failure to investigate

   

On Wednesday, March 9th, the Lafayette Police and Fire Civil Service Board held an all-day hearing into the alleged improper termination of former Chief Thomas Glover. As witnesses entered and exited the hearing, providing testimony into the actions and performance of Glover, the elephant in the room became more apparent – Citizens for a New Louisiana!

Back in June of 2021 a complaint was filed with the Lafayette Police and Fire Civil Service Board by the Executive Director of Citizens for a New Louisiana. The Lafayette Police and Fire Civil Service Board is tasked with representing the “public interest” and has legislative authority granted to it pursuant to Louisiana Revised Statute 33:2537 to conduct investigations. The allegations contained in the complaint referenced two separate incidents involving the same Lafayette Police Department Lieutenant Michael Brown.

The first incident involved a formal complaint which was filed on January 4, 2021 with regards to an incident which allegedly occurred in December of 2020. During that incident, the complainant alleges he was “harassed” and “detained” by Lt. Brown. The complainant indicates that Lt. Brown, who is “friends with [the complainant’s] tenants,” intervened in a “civil matter” and advised tenants that they did not have to pay rent to the complainant.

The second incident involved a criminal complaint which was filed with regards to an incident which allegedly occurred in April of 2021. During that incident, officers responded to a complaint of “extortion” and listed Lt. Brown as the “person(s) arrested and/or charged.”

Our research findings

During the course of our investigation, we obtained an Internal Affair’s document entitled “Concise Officer History” for Lt. Brown which was generated on April 21, 2021. Neither of these two incidents appeared on the document as being lodged with Internal Affairs or investigated.

Discussion of these incidents occurred on multiple occasions during the monthly Lafayette Police and Fire Civil Service Board Meetings. Members of Citizens for a New Louisiana were allowed to participate in an in camera inspection of documents. Those documents tended to raise more questions than answers. So, we continued our investigation into the matter. Then on October 7, 2021 it was learned that Chief Thomas Glover had been terminated from the position of Lafayette Police Chief.

An addendum to the original complaint was filed by Citizens for a New Louisiana with the Lafayette Police and Fire Civil Service Board on or about November 18, 2022. In that addendum we detail what we learned from our in camera inspection of documents, which was that no investigation was conducted into either incident by Internal Affairs. Further, investigation also revealed that Lt. Brown was not likely the only officer who was able to avoid investigation and discipline.

Pattern, practice, and custom

On or about February 24, 2021 a complaint of officer misconduct was lodged against Lafayette Police Department Officer Jarvis Mayfield.  The complaint is assigned internal affairs number 2021-011. The concise officer history for Officer Mayfield generated October 25, 2021 does not contain any information concerning the specific allegations against the officer or the disposition of the complaint.

On or before October 2, 2021 Lafayette Police Department Officer Todd Alcorn lost his weapon. The concise officer history for Officer Alcorn generated October 25, 2021 does not contain any information concerning an investigation or discipline against the officer.

What became apparent during our investigation was the existence of a pattern, practice and custom of former Chief Glover in failing to adequately and properly investigate allegations of employee misconduct and a failure to adequately and properly monitor and discipline his officers. This became abundantly clear during the hearing involving former Chief Glover’s termination.

The elephant in the room

Multiple witnesses testified referencing allegations contained in the complaint filed by Citizens for a New Louisiana. Some witnesses specifically refenced a failure to adequately and properly investigate allegations of employee misconduct as a factor leading to the termination of former Chief Glover. Former Internal Affairs Lieutenant Chastity Arwood testified that Glover made the decision not to investigate the January 4, 2021 allegations of misconduct against Michael Brown, who has since been promoted to the rank of Major. She further stated that she came forward following a misrepresentation to the Lafayette Police and Fire Civil Service Board that an investigation had been conducted.

The Lafayette Police and Fire Civil Service Board concluded that Glover was a probationary employee and denied his appeal. The Board also upheld his termination, determining that Glover was given ample time to demonstrate his ability to perform the duties of Chief of Police. We still await answers to our complaint which has been pending before the Board since June of last year.

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If we’re not watching them, who will?

Citizens for a New Louisiana is the only organization in Louisiana dedicated to reforming local government. With the help of numerous volunteers we are making some progress. However, there’s much more work we could be doing. Making a difference will take a little more than reading an article every now and then. Your community doesn’t need another spectator. They need someone willing to step onto the field and become a real part of the solution. Will you join us?

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