LAFAYETTE, La. (IND) – Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux announced today that Toby Aguillard will be the new chief of police of the Lafayette Police Department.

“Toby brings a strong and diverse set of law enforcement and legal expertise to the position, as well as his impressive educational credentials,” says Robideaux. “Lafayette’s Police Department will benefit from Toby’s leadership and his depth and breadth of experience across the criminal justice system.”

Aguillard, a native of Denham Springs, has a combined 28 years in law enforcement and criminal justice experience, including 18 years with law enforcement and a decade of combined experience as an assistant district attorney and an assistant attorney general.

Aguillard has worked for the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office since 2007 where he has served as the director of the Internet Crimes Against Children Division for the last nine years. Prior to his tenure with TPSO, he worked in both the Cameron Parish and East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s offices. He previously was an assistant district attorney in Cameron Parish and assistant attorney general and special agent at the Louisiana Department of Justice.

Aguillard has a bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph Seminary College and a law degree from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge.

Robideaux’s announcement came on the heels of Tuesday night’s City-Parish Council meeting where Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux played an audio file of an exchange at the Oct. 11 Municipal Fire & Police Civil Service Board meeting between board attorney Candice Hattan and Chairman Jason Boudreaux who were discussing recouping attorney fees from local NAACP chapter president, Marja Broussard.

Broussard had sued the board over its membership earlier this year and, under state law, the winner of a civil suit can recoup attorney fees from the losing side.

During the exchange on the tape, Hattan can be heard saying, “We cannot hang the poor lady by, you know, by a rope in front of the courthouse for the birds to pick her eyes out.”

Councilman Boudreaux has called for the resignation of Chairman Boudreaux, Hattan and another board member.

Asked if Tuesday’s Council meeting affected his decision, Robideaux says, “No. I had spoken with Mr. Aguillard Sunday evening, and I had made my decision over the weekend. I didn’t know what was going to happen at Tuesday’s meeting. But, I had it scheduled out and planned and so we’ve stuck with that.”

Aguillard beat out six other final qualifying candidates who were interviewed for the position.

Aguillard now assumes the position of chief that was filled in February by Interim Chief of Police Reginald Thomas. Thomas, a 25-year veteran of the police department, was disqualified from applying for the role of chief due to his lack of a bachelor’s degree. On Nov. 1, Thomas was provisionally appointed to deputy chief.

The LPD police chief position was vacated on Jan. 31 when former Police Chief Jim Craft retired and was later appointed by Gov. John Bel Edwards to serve as executive director of the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement.

[This article was originally published in the November 2016 edition of The Independent and on]