Relationship with Sheriff Garber a factor in former LPD chief’s Aguillard’s resignation

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Lafayette mayor-president candidate Josh Guillory answers questions from moderators Bernadette Lee and Rob Kirkpatrick during a debate on 96.5 KPEL Radio Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019. (Photo: Andre Broussard/Special to The Advertiser)

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — During his appearance on his new radio call-in show, Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory confirmed that tensions between the sheriff’s department and the police department factored into his decision to attempt to replace former Police Chief Toby Aguillard.

Aguillard resigned on Monday right as Guillory was being sworn into office. In the weeks leading up to his inauguration, Guillory had made it clear he was looking to replace Aguillard as chief.

While Aguillard initially said he would fight Guillory’s decision, he ultimately decided to leave the department instead, citing his desire not to create more tension.

In Thursday’s call-in show, Guillory said Aguillard’s relationship with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Department was a factor in his decision to change the police department’s leadership.

“I have no problem with saying this,” said Guillory. “Part of my decision-making process was a significant, I guess, hit to the relationship between the police department and the sheriff’s department. And it’s not the actual boots-on-ground — it’s not the patrol officers out there. That was a leadership issue. I have no problem with saying that.”

Aguillard and Sheriff Mark Garber have had a strained relationship over a 2018 proposed tax to raise pay for sheriff’s deputies. The tax failed at the polls.

Guillory said Garber was not directly involved in the decision to ask Aguillard to step down. He did praise the sheriff and said he expects a strong relationship with the sheriff’s office.

While the city and the sheriff’s department are also entangled in a legal battle over the payment for the cost of inmates, Guillory said he expects the Lafayette Consolidated Government and the sheriff’s office to resolve the issue.

“There’s been a lot of brother-in-law deals that have been going on the last 20, 30 years that we just need to get it right,” said Guillory. “You know, dollars are dollars, money is money, and as I find things out, I will definitely let you know.”

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