LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Officials with the Lafayette Police Department confirm that Chief Toby Aguillard has resigned his position effective immediately.
The move comes after Mayor-President Josh Guillory, who was just sworn into office Monday, made it known that he wanted a leadership change in the department.
The former chief said the decision to resign wasn’t an easy choice, and it was one he didn’t plan on making a month ago.
“It was a really big surprise,” Aguillar admitted to News 10 in December.
When Mayor-President Josh Guillory told Police Chief Toby Aguillard to resign or be fired last month, Chief Aguillard said he’d appeal to the civil service board, but while Guillory took the oath of office Monday afternoon, Aguillard announced his fight was over.
Guillory said asking Aguillard to resign was an objective choice claiming last month, “I know what leadership is, and I know we can do better.”
Guillory appointed Lieutenant Scott Morgan as interim police chief during the search. Morgan has served in the Lafayette Police Department 25 years, but he does plan to file for the permanent position.
Morgan said he found out he would be interim police chief a week ago, but released little more information saying, “Once everything is finalized then I’ll be able to speak on that official position.”
The Lafayette NAACP spoke out against changes for Lafayette Police Department in a press conference Sunday. They released an updated statement Monday saying:
The NAACP will continue to monitor the situation.
We wish Chief Aguillard the very best in all his future endeavors.
We are interested in learning why our Mayor-President appointed a Lieutenant as interim Chief, when there is the Deputy Chief already in position. A Lieutenant is 3 ranks below the Deputy Chief rank. Deputy Chief Reginald Thomas was interim chief for 11 months prior to the arrival of Chief Aguillard.-Lafayette NAACP
Why would our Mayor- President Josh Guillory bypass a qualified African American Deputy Chief? Those are the questions needing answers!
“As it goes to appointing someone right now, it’s a nationwide search,” explained Guillory. “I want the best and brightest to lead the wonderful men and women of Lafayette Police Department.”
Aguillard said he hopes his resignation will allow the department and community to move forward.
Aguillard sent out the following statement:
After careful thought and prayerful reflection, I have to resign as Chief of Police of Lafayette, effective January 6, 2020. I will forever be grateful for having had the opportunity to lead one of the finest police departments in our country.
Lafayette’s history has proved that a legal battle between the chief of police and a newly-elected mayor causes disruption and stress among the officers, the parties involved and the citizens. I have no desire to be part of such turmoil. I hope that my resigning will allow the department and the community to move forward.
Know that I hav developed a deep admiration for the men and women of the Lafayette Police Department and I will continue to pray for their safety and success.
I sincerely thank the citizens of Lafayette for their support and I look forward to staying here in Acadiana with my family for years to come.— Lafayette Police Chief Toby Aguillard
The Lafayette Consolidated Government’s Chief Information Officer Cydra Wingerter said more details on the transition are expected tomorrow.