A former Church Point police officer says he was wrongfully terminated and his rights were violated.
He just wants to clear his name.
Gregory Mouton Jr. was hired as a patrol police officer with the Church Point Police Department in March.
Three months later, he was awarded Police Officer of the Month. Eight months later, he claims he was terminated. Not once, but twice.
Mouton explained, “He (Chief Thibodeaux) calls me in and basically said that I made some mistakes. I made some bad decisions and I’m like well I understand that and we all make mistakes. No one is perfect.”
Mouton says Police Chief Dale Thibodeaux asked him if he could change his shift to nights.
“I said, ‘let me see what I can do,” said Mouton. “I’ve done everything you’ve asked me for. Investigations, writing tickets, finding illegal drugs and at that time, he (chief) blows up and says, ‘you know what, I’m going to make my decision for you.’ (He) gets up opens the door and says, ‘get the … out my office’ so I leave.”
News 10 asked, “All about you working at nights?”
Mouton replied, “Yes.”
Hours later, Mouton says he was notified he had his job back.
“So I was fired and then brought back,” Mouton said.
That wasn’t the end of it.
On November 13, a letter from Chief Thibodeaux to Mouton states, “Mr. Mouton has been terminated and decommissioned by me, Chief Thibodeaux, for several policy violations for insubordination and conduct unbecoming of an officer.”
“He can’t terminate me,” added Mouton. “The city council is the only entity that can terminate my employment. He can recommend me terminated, but he can’t go outside the scope of his office and terminate my employment without the approval of Church Point’s City Council.”
A second letter signed by Chief Thibodeaux dated November 22 states, “Gregory Mouton has not been terminated as of this date. Mr. Mouton has been placed on administrative suspension by me, Chief Thibodeaux.”
Mouton explained, “I didn’t know that I was suspended so now I’m thinking well I’m still employed. How can I be terminated and get a letter of separation, but now I’m suspended. So basically, he (chief) backtracked.”
As for getting back into law enforcement, Mouton said, “In a perfect world, I’d like to be with Church Point Police Department doing my job what I was hired to do. Protect and serve.”
Mouton is scheduled for an investigative hearing Tuesday morning where he will be allowed to invoke his garrity rights. He also says there will be a special city council meeting on Monday night where he will address the council about his situation.
News 10 reached out to Church Point Police Chief Dale Thibodeaux about the termination of mouton.
Chief Thibodeaux said, “He has not been terminated. He is on administrative leave and is in the middle of his Police Officer Bill of Rights Investigation. I can not terminate anyone. I can only recommend to the council after the investigation is complete.”