Guidroz: Higgins “Disagreed With My Orders”
Following Capt. Clay Higgins' resignation from the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office Monday morning, Sheriff Bobby Guidroz presented his side of the story.
In an press release, sent out following Higgins' resignation statement, Guidroz said his public information officer resigned because, "He disagreed with my orders."
As your Sheriff, it is my duty and responsibility that the message to the citizens of St. Landry Parish be professional, on point, and truthful. The department Public Information Officer (PIO) is a representative of the Sheriff, the deputies and the department as a whole. If Higgins cannot operate within the parameters of this office and abide by our policies and procedures, then he is correct in resigning his position.
Guidroz outlines that he and Higgins did not see eye-to-eye on certain aspects of Higgins' job as PIO.
Guidroz wrote to the media saying he asked Higgins to "tone down" his "unprofessional comments " in the weekly Crime Stoppers videos that brought national attention to Higgins.
"“My orders to Higgins were to ‘tone down his unprofessional comments on our weekly Crime Stoppers messages and had nothing to do with the Gremlins video or with bowing down to political correctness," Guidroz said in the release. "I happen to agree with the overall message of the Gremlins video."
Guidroz said he told Higgins to repeatedly refrain from using disrespectful comments when referring to the suspects being sought in the videos.
"I repeatedly told him to stop saying divisive, disrespectful, or demeaning things like, ‘You have no brain cells,’ ‘knuckleheads’ or 'liars.""
Another reason Guidroz gives as leading to Higgins' resignation was the captain's insubordination when department policy was involved.
Guidroz said Higgins appeared on the cover of a local magazine in St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office garb without prior authorization, which was against department policy. Higgins also violated department policy when he registered his Captain Higgins product line with the Sheriff's Office physical address.
"As your sheriff, I can assure you that my staff and I will continue to provide the citizens of St. Landry Parish with the most professional law enforcement services and protection,” Guidroz said.