The Independent Staff

Former Picard foe files suit

Joseph B. Cormier, a retired Lafayette police officer and two-time candidate for Lafayette City Marshal, has filed suit against several members of the office he ran for, including longtime City Marshal Earl “Nickey” Picard, detailed in a report in today’s Advocate.

The federal lawsuit accuses Picard and his son, Chief Deputy Marshal Timothy Picard, as well as members of the Lafayette Police Department and Lafayette city prosecutor’s office, of defaming his character in the lead-up to last fall’s election. Picard, who has been city marshal for two decades, easily won the 2008 election, as well as a tilt with Cormier in 1996.

The suit accuses the Picards and others of leaking to local media internal police documents regarding an April 2008 arrest of Cormier during a scuffle with transients on a vacant lot Cormier owns near downtown. Cormier was later acquitted on two charges related to the arrest, but was convicted of disturbing the peace. The suit also alleges that Lafayette police officers committed perjury during testimony at his trial.

Picard declined comment on the lawsuit.