Troop D Commander Captain Chris Guillory has been caught lying again.
Troopers say lying is the only guaranteed way to get fired but that apparently does not apply to Guillory. LouisianaVoice ran a story on Guillory citing an LSP investigation file showing he was abusing prescription medication. When he was questioned in that case, Guillory denied violating LSP drug use policy only to admit it later. https://louisianavoice.com/2015/09/05/state-police-launch-internal-affairs-investigation-of-troop-d-commander-after-public-records-requests-by-louisianavoice/
More recently, LouisianaVoice has received an investigation file on a complaint against Guillory for refusing to accept a complaint from a citizen (Dwight Gerst). Gerst made numerous allegations against Guillory and former Trooper Jimmy Rogers who has resigned amid the Troop D investigations.
Gerst sent a complaint to LSP internal affairs alleging Guillory refused to accept a complaint from him in violation of LSP policy. Gerst and Guillory had two different stories on how the meeting transpired. LouisianaVoice also received an audio recording of Gerst attempting to file a complaint with Guillory making it easy to determine who was telling the truth and who was lying. https://louisianavoice.com/2015/08/17/state-police-headquarters-sat-on-complaint-against-troop-d-trooper-for-harassment-captain-for-turning-a-blind-eye-to-it/
Here is part of Gerst’s complaint:
I attempted to file a complaint at Troop D. I met with Capt. Guillory at Troop D. Lieutenant Cyprien was also present. Before I got the chance to tell Guillory that I wanted to file a complaint, he informed me that if I was there to file a complaint, he would not accept a complaint from me. He said he thought I had problems and he was not doing anything until there was a disposition on my case from the sheriff’s office. He further said that he had a problem with me personally and professionally and he would not accept any complaint I may have. Guillory said there was nothing for us to talk about until the investigation was complete. I told him my complaint was not based on what I did or did not do. Guillory asked if I was there to complain about Rogers and I said I yes. I went there to file a complaint and was undeniably refused. I suspect this is a violation of state police policy.
The audio recording showed Gerst’s version of the meeting was truthful. Guillory’s version, as reflected in LSP documents, conflicted greatly with the recording.
The following passage was taken directly from the LSP documents (emphasis ours):
Capt. Guillory said that Gerst arrived at Troop D and was upset, stating that TFC Rogers was spreading lies about him. According to Capt. Guillory, Gerst was asking him about information pertaining to the criminal investigation which was being conducted by the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office. Capt. Guillory stated that he informed Gerst that he could not get involved in an ongoing investigation being conducted by another agency. He stated that Gerst continued to press him for information regarding the matter and he informed Gerst that he would have to go to the sheriff’s office himself if he wanted to find out about the investigation. According to Capt. Guillory, Gerst stated that the sheriff’s office would not talk to him or provide him any information. Guillory claimed that he told Gerst that “he wanted to wait until the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office was done with their criminal investigation before he could tell him any information”. He said that Gerst continued to question him and ask him what TFC Rogers had told the sheriff’s office. Guillory told Gerst again that he could not give him information regarding an ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by the sheriff’s office. Guillory said that the interaction with him and Gerst went back and forth for a few minutes. Guillory stated that “he never refused” to take Gerst’s complaint. He said that he told Gerst to “let him see what the sheriff’s office said about the criminal investigation”, because according to the information he obtained, there were serious allegations against Gerst. Guillory stated that Gerst then left the Troop without filing a complaint there and filed one through the Internal Affairs Section. Investigators questioned Guillory again September 17, 2015 about Gerst’s allegation that he refused to accept his (Gerst’s) complaint. Guillory’s statement was consistent with his original statement. Although Capt. Guillory advised that he never refused to take Mr. Gerst’s complaint, he (Guillory) was aware that Gerst was complaining of TFC Rogers’ conduct. Guillory said that he told Gerst to wait and let him see what the sheriff’s office said, because according to the information he (Guillory) obtained, there were serious allegations against Gerst.
Hers is what Guillory said during the three minute meeting with Gerst:
Have a seat. We’re not going to talk long, Okay. Your case is being investigated by the sheriff’s office. I’ve talked with them and if you are here to file a complaint or you have a complaint, I’m not accepting your complaint because I think you got problems and I’m not going to do anything until (inaudible) disposition on your case… I personally have a problem with you. Based on what I am being told by the investigator at the sheriff’s office on what you are being investigated for, I personally and professionally have a problem with you and I am not going to accept any form of complaint you may have until the disposition of their investigation is over. Any part of that unclear to you?
Apparently unbeknownst to Guillory, Gerst recorded their exchange (It is not illegal in Louisiana to record a conversation as long as one of the participants consents.) If you would like to listen to that exchange, click here: https://youtu.be/zd-JV3rKjko
Guillory appears to have been was untruthful in his responses to internal affairs investigators on two separate occasions in which he denied that he refused to take a Gerst’s complaint. He apparently assumed it would be his word against Gerst’s and he could deceive investigators.
According to the investigative report, Guillory sent the Troop Executive Officer Lieutenant Waylon Busby to the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s office to investigate Gerst’s stalking allegations against former Trooper Rogers. Instead, Busby started an unauthorized investigation into Gerst’s possessing a law enforcement license plate and seized his specialized plate. Guillory claimed to have no knowledge of that investigation. Busby was given a 32-hour suspension for his actions. The IA report indicated Busby performed an unauthorized investigation outside the normal scope of his duties and he facilitated the violation of Gerst’s constitutional rights from an illegal traffic stop.
State Police Sgt. Gary Smith said of taking the license plate that he “has never heard of that happening before and this was the first time he had ever seen it done.” Smith also denied Busby’s claims that he was told to pull him over for a traffic violation (window tint). DMV personnel also contradicted Busby’s statements about the investigation. Guillory denied any knowledge of the unauthorized action, unconstitutional traffic stop, and the revocation of the license plate.
All this revolves around Gerst’s picking up two children from school and giving them a ride. One of the children belonged to Former Trooper Rogers. Rogers became angry and tried very hard to get Gerst punished. The charges were thrown out of court at trial.
Rogers’ child was in the care of Gerst’s neighbor’s child. Gerst, with his own child in the car, gave the two children a ride 400 yards. LSP IA investigators vindicated Gerst in their report. IA interviewed the mother of the child who was given a ride by Gerst. Her statement indicated that Gerst did nothing wrong. Here is a passage about that incident taken directly from the report:
Investigators asked (redacted) if she had given Mr. Gerst permission to pick up her daughter while walking home from school. (Redacted) indicated that she did not tell Mr. Gerst on that particular day to give her daughter a ride home. However, she had previously given permission to Mr. Gerst in the past to do so, and she did not see anything wrong with him doing it on that day. Investigators asked if she felt any pressure from TFC Rogers to pursue charges against Mr. Gerst. (Redacted) indicated that she did not feel pressure or the need to file charges against Mr. Gerst. She stated that TFC Rogers told her that he felt as if there was “something there,” and for her to trust him. (Redacted) indicated that she felt as if she should trust TFC Rogers because she believed that he possibly had information about him (Gerst) that she did not have. (Redacted) related to investigators that she did not want to talk about the issue with Mr. Gerst and TFC Rogers anymore.
Gerst complained that Rogers and Guillory used their positions to push for charges against him. Guillory denied the allegations. Rogers admitted going to the district attorney’s office but denied he did it as a trooper but only as a father. He admitted he spoke to retired LSP Captain Russell Haman who works for the DA’s office. The statement provided by the child’s mother indicated that Rogers manipulated her into going along with his scheme in order to have Gerst prosecuted.
Gerst alleged in writing his attorney was told by the prosecution that the DA’s office was only pursuing charges because of pressure from LSP. IA asked prosecutor Dustan Abshire if he spoke to Gerst about the charges but failed to ask anything about state police influence in the report or what he told Gerst’s attorney.
All this just because Gerst had the temerity to file a complaint. This is one of the most frightening cases we have seen at LouisianaVoice. It is a naked display of abuse of power on the part of those in positions to harm innocent people.
This should serve as a message to anyone who considers filing a complaint against Captain Guillory or his clique: don’t!