Lafayette Police Officer Says She Was Punished for Refusing Sex with Supervisor
LAFAYETTE (KPEL News) - In a lawsuit filed in Lafayette, the police officer at the center of a previous investigation into former interim police chief Wayne Griffin claims she was transferred after refusing to sleep with him.
Sr. Cpl. Bridgette Dugas, who is named in the lawsuit filed in Lafayette Parish, claims she was working for the Lafayette Police Department under then-Sgt. Griffin when he pressed her for a sexual relationship.
According to the suit, she was "continuously subjected to overt, persistent and ongoing acts of unwelcome sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual battery."
Dugas was "openly criticized by colleagues at work, harassed by the media and sought for questioning by LCG Human Resources," the suit claims.
The Daily Advertiser is reporting that the suit comes after the sexual harassment aspect of the case against Griffin was not verified by the Lafayette Fire and Police Civil Service Board.
"After thorough and extensive investigation by the LPD Internal Affairs Division and LCG HR Department, the sexual harassment allegation was not sustained, and that issue was never brought by any party to the Lafayette Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board," Griffin's attorney, Allyson Melancon, said in an email.
The lawsuit maintains that never properly trained or prepared Griffin and that it "didn't have an appropriate reporting procedure for sexual harassment, failed to take steps to prevent the sexual harassment and failed to take reasonable and prompt remediation action," The Advertiser says.
The alleged harassment came before Griffin was promoted to interim police chief, a job he was removed from months later over issues concerning harassment as well as lying. He was reinstated to LPD last month after the Civil Service Board finished its review.
Lafayette's new police chief, Judith Estorge, was appointed to permanently fill the vacancy at LPD and has promised transparency going forward.
At a press conference earlier this month, Estorge did say that there was a lot of work that still needed to be done on that front.
"My goal is to listen to your concerns and earn your trust," she told those attending the press conference. "Within the first 60 days, our officers and commanders will be more involved in community activities and events."