Sept. 21, 2015 07:35 PM
A letter obtained and published on Sept. 20 by questionably extant online publication The Scott Times confirms Chad Leger failed the Lafayette Parish Sheriff Office’s Patrol Promotional exam in 2001 with a score of 55 out of 100. Leger is now running for sheriff of Lafayette Parish.

A score of 60 out of 100 is required to be considered for promotion in the department. Leger was a deputy at the time seeking a move up the ranks after 14 years in service. Not too long after receiving this letter from an official in LPSO human resources department (whose signature is redacted in this copy of the letter), Leger ran for and was elected chief of Scott City Police. He’s held that post since 2003.

The letter, dated Aug. 8, 2001, commends Leger for his desire for departmental advancement, and attempts feeble consolation in the form of a promise of future tests. As noted, Leger did not stick around to try again, but left for more westerly pastures.
Chad Leger
Photo by Robin May

The Independent first reported Leger’s failure to pass the promotional exam in part three of our Enlightened Enforcement series published in August. Leger has staked much of his electoral claim on his extensive law enforcement experience, including his 14 years as a deputy in the LPSO serving in patrol, SWAT, motorcycle, narcotics and corrections. UL Lafayette political science professor and IND contributor Dr. Pearson Cross predicts that this slice of Leger’s historical pie will do little to sway voters still scanning the showcase.

“While every bit of data about the biography of the candidates is important in a hotly contested race such as this, the reported failure of Chad Leger to pass a Patrol Promotional exam while working for the Lafayette Sheriff’s Department in August 2001 will have a limited impact on the current race for sheriff in Lafayette Parish,” Cross tells The Independent.

“Supporters of Mr. Leger will note the 14 years that have passed since the test was taken, while detractors of Mr. Leger will use this bit of information as further proof that their preferred candidate, be it [Mark] Garber, [Rick] Chargois or [John] Rogers, is superior to Mr. Leger," Cross continues. "Mr. Leger’s failure to pass this test will have only limited ability to influence the decision of those whose minds are not yet made up.”

Despite the murky provenance of the letter, we have confirmed with LPSO spokesman Capt. John Babin that the letter is legit. We've since filed a public records request with LPSO for the letter.

The Scott Times appears to be a hit site with Leger in the cross-hair, set up with the sole purpose of reporting this, and only this, piece of breaking news. Although the site’s URL is CityofScott.news, it has no affiliation with Scott city government (an association it disclaims alongside a page-bottom reminder that the site is “protected by the First Amendment”), nor any history of print or on-line publication prior to the release of the blog post exposing Leger’s flunk job.

“We started this project many months ago in the hopes of creating a news source of excellence for the residents of Scott, the city which we adore and were born and raised in,” says Scott Times editor "Edwin Long" via the site’s About Us page.

Review of the site’s domain history reveals that it was founded this month by an undisclosed "private registrant." Review of the purported editor’s name reveals that it is likely a not-so-well-masked alias, an obvious portmanteau of “Edwin Edwards” and the surname of either of the Govs. Long.

It’s not readily clear what, if anything, the site’s organizers have been doing to stall the debut of their ersatz journal for so many months prior to domain registration, though we can likely rule out site design and layout. Still, given the confirmed veracity of its sole investigative report, the shell pub’s motto may one day be Leger’s lament: "Scott - Where the West Begins...and the Drama Never Ends."