In May 2013, UL Lafayette informed Josh Guillory he wouldn’t be coming back to teach. After he became mayor-president in 2020, and while he actively sought ways to supplement his income, he got his job back.
Guillory’s UL position presents several potential conflicts. UL and LCG have business relationships such that it could benefit the university politically to have a mayor-president on its payroll. Teaching classes during the workweek could run afoul of LCG Home Rule Charter requirements that a mayor-president not have employment that detracts from his official duties. And the constant presence of Lafayette Police Department officers providing security for him on campus suggests a use of public resources for private benefit, an issue of concern in the Lafayette City Council’s nascent investigation of Guillory and his administration.
Guillory has broadly denied wrongdoing in interviews addressing his outside employment and use of the dignitary detail but did not respond to requests for comment.
His return to teaching came after a rocky split. He had been barred from returning to his role as an adjunct professor of business law in part because he sent his legal secretary to administer tests and appeared to have retaliated against students as his supervisors investigated his conduct, according to a 2013 dismissal letter.
The letter, obtained by The Current, questions Guillory’s veracity, commitment to his students and suitability as an instructor, laying out the reasons Guillory, who had been teaching since 2011, would not be retained by UL’s B.I. Moody College of Business Administration.
“Perhaps this decision can be mutually reconsidered in the future when you have more time to commit to the classes and are prepared to follow appropriate departmental procedures,” the letter concludes.
The letter indicates that a departmental investigation was initiated after an incident involving Guillory and a student, who felt he “had been singled out [by Guillory] because of his allegiance to the Alabama football program.” According to the letter, student witnesses asked that their interviews be postponed until grades were posted, fearing “consequences from speaking out.” The investigation revealed that Guillory may have earlier retaliated against his students after they reported him for canceling class and sending his secretary to administer a test.
The Mayor-President shall not engage in any activity unrelated to City of Lafayette, Parish of Lafayette, and/or City-Parish Government business that would interfere with or detract from the performance of duties as Mayor-President.Lafayette Home Rule Charter
“The students indicated that you told the class that someone had turned you in and after that point you no longer provided study guides for exams,” the supervisor wrote. “This could have been a coincidence, but it gave the perception that you were punishing them for your having been reprimanded.”
Guillory was out for the next seven years.
By August 2020, however, he was again teaching business law. Although Guillory’s legal background is in criminal defense and family law, he is qualified to teach the course because of his terminal degree and legal experience.
UL and LCG have numerous long-term business relationships, most recently inking a deal to turn over operations of the Lafayette Science Museum to the university. UL also has an interest in the mayor-president’s plan to replace the city-owned Heymann Performing Arts Center, potentially with a new facility on university property.
A university spokesman maintains UL President Joe Savoie was not involved in the decision to give Guillory his old job back. Savoie “did not play any role in the hiring/rehiring of Mr. Guillory as an adjunct instructor, nor does he play a role in the hiring of any adjuncts,” Senior Communications Rep Eric Maron tells The Current. Maron says the university “has not received — nor does it expect — any special benefit because of Mr. Guillory’s position.”
Maron did not directly address whether the 2013 letter was reviewed before Guillory was rehired (the university neither acknowledged nor turned over the letter). Guillory inquired about teaching in 2020, and the university confirms it tracked down an opportunity for him: His old role with the Department of Economics and Finance was in need of adjuncts for business law.
“The [department head] conducted a comprehensive review and interviewed Mr. Guillory, found him qualified to teach this in-demand course, and hired him,” Maron says. (Read the university’s full response here.)
After Guillory was re-hired in 2020, UL Police conducted a walk-through at Guillory’s detail’s request, Maron says, to familiarize them with the building where he would teach. “UL Police offered a parking spot in the police parking lot for the security detail, as they do for all visiting law enforcement vehicles, marked or unmarked, that are on campus,” he continues. The spokesman says it is common for security to wait outside the class for Guillory while he is teaching.
Maron also confirms that the perk of free, on-campus parking Guillory’s security receives is one not afforded anyone else. Everyone pays to park on campus, even full-time professors — who tell The Current they pay $100 per semester. Adjuncts are eligible to purchase in the perimeter lots but only until they run out, he says.
Guillory’s security figures into the City Council’s two-pronged investigation into his administration, including the mayor-president’s use of public resources.
“It’s something that I’m very concerned about,” City Councilman Glenn Lazard says. “And something that probably warrants further investigation.”
On Sept. 20, the City Council voted to spend up to $100,000 on an inquiry initially prompted by drainage projects, but which has been expanded to include public expenditures “benefiting the mayor-president.”
Guillory’s deployment of Lafayette Police officers as full-time security takes officers away from the short-staffed department and contrasts sharply with his predecessors. The LPD security detail, historically called the dignitary detail, was used sparingly in prior administrations, according to multiple high-ranking former LCG and police department officials.
In the past, the detail played a limited role, mostly coordinating with the security teams of visiting dignitaries like top state and federal officials, says retired Maj. George Alfred.
“I never asked for it, ever,” says former M-P Joey Durel. “But [Chief] Jim Craft had them bring me to the Cajundome for the State of the Parish every year. … I always figured it was to give them a little practice.”
In an interview with KLFY-TV10’s Darla Montgomery in August (27-minute mark), Guillory defended the use of officers for his security, implying that risk assessments conducted by the Lafayette Police Department, Lafayette City Marshal and the Sheriff’s Department are what warrant the security detail.
“I don’t dictate what they do. They assess the risk. I may ask a few questions, especially if they are hanging outside my house, like ‘Do you have to be here?’” Guillory told Montgomery. “I don’t wake up every day saying, ‘Can I have a police officer by me?’’’
The sheriff’s office has not performed such an assessment, spokesman John Mowell confirms. Nor did the Lafayette PD under ousted Chief Thomas Glover Sr.
Since returning to UL, Guillory has earned $15,800 from the university, primarily teaching a single class each semester. The paperwork Guillory fills out for the UL position lists him as a part-time adjunct instructor spending 20 percent of his time at UL for each class he teaches.
Over the past several months, The Current has documented the mayor-president’s efforts to supplement his $122,000 government salary, a full-time position, by teaching and continuing to practice law, obtaining a title insurance license, and forming at least three LLCs and making some effort to obscure his connection to them. Lafayette’s Home Rule Charter prohibits the mayor-president from doing any side work that interferes with his position. For the past three semesters, Guillory has taught at UL in the morning during what would be considered regular business hours at LCG.
In their ranging interview with Montgomery, Josh Guillory and his wife denied their attempts to bolster their household income was improper.
As of this fall, Jamie Guillory, who formed a heavy equipment business with her husband last year just as LCG was awarding millions in lucrative drainage work, is also an adjunct instructor at UL. Jamie, whom the university says has a master’s degree in counselor education, is teaching three classes of a course designed to help first-year students navigate the university experience.
“There was no security walk-through for Ms. Guillory,” Maron says.