NEW IBERIA, La. (AP) — A former Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office employee says she was wrongly fired by the sheriff for cooperating with the FBI in the investigation against him.

Citing a lawsuit filed earlier this month, The Advocate reports that Deborah Lourd says she was fired in November, shortly after a federal jury acquitted Sheriff Louis Ackal on civil rights charges arising from the beatings of black inmates by deputies.

Prior to the trial, Lourd had given investigators several secret recordings of Ackal, including one in which authorities say Ackal used an ethnic slur to refer to someone believed to be federal prosecutor Mark Blumberg.

The lawsuit says Louisiana's whistleblower laws protect Lourd from any retaliation for cooperating with a criminal investigation.

Ackal declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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