Whistleblower Files Suit Against Iberia Parish Sheriff; Several High Ranking Officials Mentioned

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A Petition for Damages has been filed against Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal in the 16th Judicial District Court (Docket No. 125252C) – Iberia Parish by the Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess (http://www.clayburgess.com) on behalf of former Warden Wesley Hayes.

The petition lodged October 21, 2014 list Sheriff Louis Ackal as the sole defendant and alleges a pattern of criminal activities carried out by multiple employees. The petition alleges that the activities were reported to various employees through out the department, including reporting to the Sheriff himself, Chief Deputy Russell “Toby” Hebert, Captain Gerald “Bubba” Savoie and Captain Rickey Boudreaux and did not result in any criminal investigation being conducted. Hayes served as warden from December 2009 to October 2013

The petition alleges following a consistent history of reporting allegations of criminal conduct by staff that Warden Wesley Hayes was terminated from employment as retaliation. Those incidents include three instances of alleged abuse at the jail. Two incidents occurred in April 2011 and Hayes initially did not discuss the 2011 attacks “out of fear of retaliation” but later gave a statement describing what he saw. A 2012 incident allegedly captured on video depicting an attack on an inmate by an officer and his K-9 was allegedly brought to the attention of both Captain Gerald “Bubba” Savoie and Captain Rickey Boudreaux. Two of these incidents resulted in civil litigation (Docket No.'s 121926 and 120444) against the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office and the department has denied the allegations.

Hayes also claims he was retaliated against for his role in complaints against other deputies. For example the lawsuit mentions one individual, described as a friend of Sheriff Ackal, was arrested after Hayes accused him of stealing copper from air conditioning units at the jail and selling it. However, before being booked Sheriff Ackal allegedly instructed that the person be released and allowed to resign.

The lawsuit states a second deputy was fired on Hayes’ recommendation for forging a supervisor’s signature for overtime approval but was later reinstated by Chief Deputy Russell “Toby” Hebert and reassigned to Patrol at the request of Captain Rickey Boudreaux.

A third deputy, the stepson of a Sheriff’s Office Captain Rickey Boudreaux, was terminated on Hayes’ recommendation for stealing inmate property, but another Captain Gerald “Bubba” Savoie allegedly intervened to block criminal charges to spare Captain Rickey Boudreaux “some embarrassment,” according to the lawsuit.

The petition indices that Hayes would later complain that he felt his office was “bugged” and was terminated shortly thereafter.

The Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess handle a variety of personal injury cases in Louisiana and Texas. Our team of attorneys can assist you with your car accident, trucking accident, premise liability, police brutality and other personal injury claims. Our headquarters is located in Lafayette, Louisiana with satellite offices in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Lake Charles, Louisiana. Consultations are free, but by appointment only.

Complaint may be found at: https://www.scribd.com/doc/244120002/2014-10-22-Petition-for-Damages-Iberia-Sheriff

Media Contact:
Law Offices of L. Clayton Burgess
605 W. Congress St.
Lafayette, LA 70501
(877) 234-7573

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