Sorrento council angry at all aspects of potential lawsuit by town's police officers

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 9:52pm

Three Sorrento police officers are threatening to sue the city, claiming the police chief discriminated against them.

The officers, two men and one woman, say they were the victims of sexual and racial discrimination, as well as retaliation.

They have hired a lawyer from Baton Rouge and are prepared to sue the town of Sorrento and the police department.

Details about their accusations are still scarce.

They got the council members to meet with them in executive session Tuesday night, behind closed doors, so they would not have to address any of their case in public.

They initially faxed a letter to Mayor Wilson Longanecker Jr. on Friday about their claims, and he told Chief Earl Theriot Friday night.

Members of the town council did not receive the letter, and some told NBC33 they did not know anything about it until Tuesday.

That made them upset. One council member asked reporters before the meeting why they knew about the potential lawsuit before the council did.

But they might have been more outraged when they learned Longanecker was partly to blame for the potential lawsuit.

"And if I heard the answer correctly," town attorney Donovan Hudson said after one of the officers was asked who came up with the idea to file a lawsuit, "the person who initiated and expressed and gave credence and encouraged this town to be sued was the mayor of the town."

The officers' claims were not resolved at Tuesday night's meeting. The council members asked for time to review all the details, which they did not have until that executive session.

The council will try to schedule another meeting before Thanksgiving, and it expects to go into executive session again to talk about the charges and see if it can avoid a lawsuit.


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