Editor's note: The Daily Advertiser is not naming the subordinate who said former Lafayette Police Officer Sgt. Wayne Griffin sent sexually explicit messages to protect her from potential retaliation.
This story was updated on Aug. 10, 2022, to reflect a new date for Griffin's hearing.
Former Lafayette Interim Chief Wayne Griffin sent sexually explicit texts to a subordinate and told investigators he never sent those messages, which a cell phone analyst determined were sent from his phone, according to an Internal Affairs investigation.
Griffin sent multiple texts from a personal phone to a subordinate's personal phone indicating that he wanted to have sex with her and asked about her sex life. Griffin and his attorney suggested the messages were fabricated with a third-party application.
But a cell phone analyst determined Griffin sent the messages using his Apple account, something that would be almost impossible to fabricate, the analyst said in his report.
Lafayette Consolidated Government previously redacted documents related to the investigation to a point where most of its contents were not readable.
The investigation and interviews with Griffin and witnesses were included as evidence for a hearing with the Lafayette Fire and Police Civil Service Board.
The hearing was delayed Wednesday after Griffin's attorney Allyson Melancon argued she should have been entitled to the police department's Internal Affairs' standard operating procedures.
Michael Cory, the attorney for LCG, said the document was privileged. He said the request was part of a "fishing expedition" by Griffin and Melancon. Melancon said she needed the document to properly question an Internal Affairs investigator whether Griffin's Officer Bill of Rights were violated.
The attorneys will reach out to a district judge for an opinion on whether it is privileged. The new hearing is scheduled for October, pending that opinion.
When Griffin has his hearing, he and Melancon will argue LPD's Internal Affairs and Human Resources Director Rick Zeno failed to comply with the minimum standards for a law enforcement officer under investigation, according to Melancon's pre-hearing filing.
She argued because those standards were not met, the discipline should be nullified and Griffin should get his job back.
The Daily Advertiser has reached out to Melancon for further comment.
Griffin was dismissed in January after being placed on leave in October when LCG received a sexual harassment complaint against him. At the time, he had been appointed interim chief of police after Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory abruptly fired Chief Thomas Glover, Sr.
Griffin, a 19-year department veteran, was only in the position about two weeks before the complaint was brought forward. He was stripped of the interim title and returned to his previous rank of sergeant in January but remained on leave until he was fired.
Maj. Monte Potier, who has been with the department since 1993, has been in charge of the department's operations since Griffin was placed on leave. The city is still working to replace Glover.
'So I have a question'
The subordinate told another officer that she had received unsolicited sexual text messages from Griffin while he was her supervisor. She asked the officer not tell anyone what she said, according to the investigation.
But the officer reported what the subordinate said and an investigation was launched. The officer said in his report he was not filing a complaint, only reporting what had been disclosed to him.
The woman told Internal Affairs investigators that Griffin started to make sexual remarks to her in March 2021. He would make comments about her appearance. She said he would bring up a training trip they took with another officer in October 2016 and he told her he regretted not having the opportunity to have sex with her on that trip, according to the investigation.
Griffin would ask the woman about her sexual activity, including when she last had sex, the subordinate told investigators. He would say her bad attitude was because she had not had sex, according to the documents.
The woman said she didn't report the harassment because she feared losing her position or her job, according to an interview with investigators.
"She was intimidated by Interim Chief Griffin due to him being her supervisor who generated performance evaluations on her," investigators wrote in their report. "She advised that she played along with his advances because she saw how he previously embarrassed another female employee."
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In April 2021, Griffin sent the woman a text that said, "So I have a question." The woman responded, "Sure, what's up?"
Griffin responded, "Is the p---- even good? #askingforafriend."
"Of course it is," she responded. "If the right (eggplant emoji) makes it nice and (water drops emoji)."
A few texts later, Griffin asked the woman if he could get an "out of the shower pic also." The woman told investigators she had sent a text to him in January that was meant for another person. In the text, she said she would sneak a picture once she was out of the shower but immediately apologized for sending the text to the wrong person.
The woman responded to Griffin's request and said, "Oh u remember that." He said he did and when she sent a laughing face emoji, he replied "#waiting."
The woman said to appease his request, she sent a picture of her back. She was sitting in her bra and underwear. Her face is not in the photo.
She told investigators she sent the picture because Griffin would often ask her for naked photos and she thought sending it would placate him. She also told them she responded the way she did to his advances because she "did not want to anger (Griffin) and possibly jeopardize her position."
"She further advised that while she never informed him of her discomfort, she did feel uncomfortable," the investigators wrote in their report.
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The woman said the sexual conversations continued in person and in text. In one instance, Griffin asked her in person why she wouldn't have sex with him, according to the documents. She told him she didn't want to change the dynamics of their friendship.
Then he followed up with a text in July 2021. "Problem is... I kno u got that good. I've inquired," he texted, according to the documents. After she responded that only one person at the police department could comment on that, Griffin texted, "you put that thing on me you might be doing your own evals lol."
The woman responded with a laughing emoji. Griffin texted, "Right. What's up with a 'big girl' pic. Sorry. Hennessy (cognac) just texted that."
During his interview with investigators, Griffin denied sending the text messages or receiving the picture of the woman. He said he never threatened his subordinate's job or attempted sexual advances of any nature, according to the investigation.
When asked why the woman would make an allegation against him, Griffin said she did not make the accusation until after her job duties were changed but said those changes came at the direction of Guillory and his administration.
A Human Resources director told investigators Guillory said Griffin was told of issues with the woman but not mandated to change her job duties.
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He said he got a new phone about a month before the investigation and didn't have text messages from before then.
Griffin's attorney, Melancon, suggested to investigators the text messages may have been manipulated through a third-party app that allows users to change the name and origin phone number.
Both the woman's and Griffin's phones were analyzed by an employee with Forensic Data Corp., third party that specializes in the forensic examination of electronic devices.
Forensic Data Corp. told Internal Affairs investigators that after analyzing the woman's phone, he determined the messages were legitimate and could not have been fabricated by an app, according to the documents.
The examiner said he did not know of a service that would allow iMessages, which can be exchanged between two iPhone users, to be fabricated.
He examined Griffin's phone but the phone was set up in August and there was no data pertinent to the investigation.
What happened after the investigation?
Internal Affairs investigators concluded Griffin violated five sections of the department's general orders: professional conduct and responsibilities; department discipline; internal investigation, responsibility of department personnel to cooperate; conditions of employment; and anti-harassment and anti-discrimination.
They did not sustain that Griffin violated the department's sexual harassment policy, but the anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy outlines sexual harassment as a type of harassment.
He was fired on Jan. 20.
Griffin and his attorney appealed his termination to the Lafayette Fire and Police Civil Service Board, which will hear arguments and can uphold the discipline, offer lesser discipline or decide no discipline should have been handed down.
Melancon wrote in her filing that Griffin wasn't given an opportunity to address allegations except for the allegation of sexual harassment, despite reserving the right to do so. She said there had been no pre-disciplinary hearing related to the allegations for which he was fired.
"Simply stated, he was never investigated for the things he was terminated for and no discipline was rendered for the thing he was investigated for," Melancon wrote.
As part of her evidence, Melancon filed nearly three dozen commendations Griffin has received while a police officer.
The board meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the council meeting room at city hall.
This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: Former interim Lafayette Police chief sent sexual messages to employee