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January 1, Police Chief Resigns Amid Harassment Scandal and Scottie Scheffler Controversy



Louisville, Kentucky’s police chief, Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel, resigned on Tuesday after less than a year on the job. Her resignation came amidst a sexual harassment scandal and the controversial arrest of top-ranked golfer Scottie Scheffler.

Gwinn-Villaroel was suspended due to “the mishandling of a sexual harassment claim about an officer.” Her resignation followed the release of an audio recording from a May 22 meeting, where she promoted Major Brian Kuriger after Major Shannon Lauder accused him of sexually harassing and attacking her. Gwinn-Villaroel told Lauder, “We’ll have to revisit on the status moving forward.”

Lauder’s attorney, Jared Smith, described Gwinn-Villaroel’s tone in the audio as “aggressive” and “threatening.” Smith did not provide additional details about the allegations but stated that he was already retained by Lauder before the May 22 meeting and had been investigating claims spanning the last four years.

Following this scandal, two more officers filed lawsuits against LMPD alleging sexual harassment. Shannon Lauder’s husband, Lt. Jeff Lauder, was named in one lawsuit as propositioning plaintiff Sgt. Lauren Carby for sex at a party in 2020, an action allegedly “encouraged” by Shannon Lauder. The other lawsuit, filed by Officer Christine Silk, accused two male officers of sexual harassment, one being her field training officer, Justin LeMon.

Kuriger, LeMon, and both Lauders are currently on administrative leave.

Gwinn-Villaroel’s tenure was also marred by the Scottie Scheffler scandal. Scheffler was arrested outside the PGA Championships in May, accused of “assaulting” a traffic cop. A judge dismissed all charges against Scheffler after video footage showed he did not assault the officer. Detective Bryan Gillis, who claimed he was injured by Scheffler’s vehicle, broke protocol by not having his body camera turned on.

Mayor Craig Greenberg announced Gwinn-Villaroel’s resignation at a press conference, calling the conduct alleged in the lawsuits “unacceptable and inexcusable.” He emphasized that “everyone should be treated with respect by their colleagues” and that investigations into the harassment claims are “ongoing.”

Paul Humphrey, who became acting chief following Gwinn-Villaroel’s suspension on June 12, was named as interim chief. Humphrey is the fourth interim chief since 2020 after a series of LMPD scandals, including the police killing of Breonna Taylor in March 2020.

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