Iberia mayor lashes out, says former police officer who filed federal lawsuit is acting "callously and maliciously," is motivated by greed
A lawsuit filed in federal court by a former Iberia police officer alleges he was not compensated fairly and blames the mayor indirectly for the death of a 7-month-old infant earlier this summer.
Former Iberia police officer Wayne D. Shaw filed the suit last week. The suit names the city of Iberia and Mayor Jack Hogue.
The suit stems from allegations made by Shaw that he was treated unfairly. Shaw is asking for unspecified damages and attorney fees in an amount to be determined by the court, according to court documents.
According to the documents, Shaw was employed with the Iberia Police Department from September 2002 to July 2007. He alleges he was fired in retaliation for exercising freedom of speech when he disagreed with the mayor.
In the suit, Shaw alleges a number of complaints, ranging from money owed for back pay to the emotional distress he suffered after an incident he alleges led to the death of a 7-month-old infant.
The suit blames the mayor for ordering Shaw to return the baby to his mother after an incident at the baby’s grandparents’ home. The suit alleges that as a result of the mayor’s actions, the baby suffered injuries that later resulted in his death.
According to Shaw’s attorney, Gayle L. Troutwine of Osage Beach, the lawsuit has been filed to resolve the issue of unpaid compensation, inadequate pay and abuse of power by the mayor.
In response, Hogue says the former police officer is acting “callously and maliciously” and is motivated by greed.
In a statement released Thursday evening, Hogue said Shaw has chosen to “slander and defame me and slander and defame the city.”
Hogue said he could not discuss the details surrounding the termination, but stated “the reasons for the discharge were related to performance and nothing else.”
The mayor had a sharp response for the former officer.
“Instead of simply litigating his termination or the issue of the overtime, Mr. Shaw has callously and maliciously chosen to involve the tragic death of baby Wayne Anderson Jr. in his grab for money,” Hogue said in the statement. “The truth in this matter is that
neither the city nor I had any authority, input or control over the custody of this baby ... Think about it, does anyone think that the Division of Family Services would abdicate its authority to the mayor of some Miller County city?”
Hogue said the city will “aggressively and thoroughly” defend the allegations and the truth will be revealed.
“I will continue to dedicate myself to the city of Iberia, the fire department, where I am a volunteer, and to the community which I have served all my life,” he stated.
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