Thu, Jun 5, 2014
We are pleased to report that Chief James ‘Jim’ Craft with the Lafayette Police Department is losing the court battles that have been levied against him and his dysfunctional department.
Craft is one of several powerful political figures who are allegedly at the center of a well-oiled political machine that has operated for years in Lafayette
According to The Daily Advertiser, the latest victory against Craft comes at the state appeals court:
A Lafayette Police officer who was fired in 2011 and was among several officers to file a federal lawsuit against the department alleging a “culture of corruption” won a victory in state appeals court this week.
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal overturned a ruling by 15th Judicial District Judge Ed Rubin that postponed a Lafayette Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board appeals hearing on two suspensions and the firing of Uletom Hewitt in 2011.
Hewitt’s attorney appealed the three disciplinary actions in a timely manner and the civil service board granted appeals in all three cases. Attorneys for Hewitt and the board took until early 2013 for discovery.
In the interim, Hewitt and other current and former Lafayette Police officers filed a federal lawsuit against Lafayette Consolidated Government, the police department, Police Chief Jim Craft and others alleging a code of silence was ordered to stop officers from reporting corruption and civil rights abuses in the department.
Hewitt and the others alleged in the lawsuit that officials retaliated against them when they rejected the code of silence by contacting the news media and operating a web site about the alleged misconduct.
In 2013, the civil service board said Hewitt’s appeal of the disciplinary action against him would not be heard until the federal lawsuit was resolved. Hewitt asked the state district court to order the civil service board to hear his appeal while the federal lawsuit was still in play. In October 2013, Rubin ruled against him and Hewitt appealed to the 3rd Circuit.
The appeals court this week ordered the matter back to Rubin and ordered him to order the civil service board to hear Hewitt’s appeal.
The federal lawsuit in which Hewitt is a party is still pending. On Monday, the clerk of the U.S. District Court in Lafayette scheduled oral arguments for 9:30 a.m. July 17 on motions for summary judgment filed May 20 by George “Jackie” Alfred, Craft, LCG and Chief Administrative Officer Dee Stanley.