BREAKING NEWS:Top cop resigns amid turmoil from sexual harassment lawsuits, Scottie Scheffler arrest

July 6, 2024

Top cop resigns amid turmoil from sexual harassment lawsuits, Scottie Scheffler arrest

Louisville, Kentucky sergeant says she was ‘shocked’ after her boss’ husband allegedly propositioned her for sex

The scandal-engulfed Louisville Metro Police Department was hit with two sexual harassment complaints in the past month, with allegations of nude selfies, swinging officers and wild pool parties flying around the agency.

The ongoing turmoil – compounded by the controversial bust of golf star Scottie Schefflerearlier this month – led to the resignation of police chief Jackie Gwinn-Villaroel this week.

She is the third full-time Louisville top cop to resign or be terminated since 2020, when officers fatally shot Breonna Taylor during a botched drug raid, setting off a national media firestorm.

In a suit filed last week, Sgt. Lauren Carby alleges that her male superior attempted to kiss her at a pool party at his home, and that his wife – also a Louisville officer and her direct supervisor – encouraged the tryst.


Louisville Metro Police Officer Christine Silk, left, and Sgt. Lauren Carby have filed lawsuits accusing the department of failing to protect them against sexual harassment. LMPD police chief, center, resigned Tuesday.  (Louisville Metro Police Department/The Courier-Journal)

Carby asserts in the court papers that Lt. Jeff Lauder and his spouse, Maj. Shannon Lauder, hosted the “adults only” bash for members of the department’s Special Victims Unit at their home in 2020.

The hosts, Carby alleges, soon became intoxicated and Shannon Lauder began kissing a detective in full view of the other guests before disappearing with him into another part of the residence.

Jeff Lauder approached Carby – a married mother – offered some remarks about her physique and then directly propositioned her for sex, the papers state. 

His wife, Lauder stressed, had endorsed the idea as they were in an open relationship. “Lauren was shocked, disturbed and extremely uncomfortable,” the suit says.

Carby declined the offer and left the party, the suit states. Fearing retribution, she decided not to file a formal complaint at the time.

With rumors about the party swirling in the department, a probe was opened in 2022 but eventually fizzled. Carby is now suing the agency for damages.

Another female officer, Christine Silk, filed a suit accusing two male colleagues of repeatedly harassing her – with one sending her a picture of his penis.

One of the accused, officer Justin LeMon, asked if she would be interested in him romantically if he wasn’t married – and that his wife chafed at his constant use of OnlyFans.

LeMon, she said, also forced her to read out sexual fantasies about her he had written out on his phone, court papers state.

Officer Dale Cottongim, who was her training instructor, crudely questioned her about her son and made other offensive remarks in front of other officers, the papers allege.

“In front of her Academy classmates Cottongim asked Christine if she “had a one-night stand to have your son? Is that why the kid doesn’t have a father?’” the lawsuit charges.

The department, she argued, failed to protect the army veteran from abuse in the workplace.

“Christine is not the only victim of harassment and discrimination to suffer by the actions and failures of LMPD,” the suit states. “LMPD remains a disturbing internal culture where pervasive patterns of sexual misconduct and predatory behaviors of officers have been repeatedly excused, ignored, concealed, and fostered.”

Shannon Lauder herself has also lodged allegations of sexual harassment by Maj. Brian Kuriger but has yet to file suit, the Courier-Journal reported.

A secret recording of a May 22 meeting emerged of Lauder telling Gwinn-Villaroel that Kuriger “has sexually harassed me and attacked me. I cannot work with him.”

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg suspended the police chief for mishandling Lauder’s complaint, calling the sexual harassment allegations “unacceptable and inexcusable.”  Gwinn-Villaroel stepped down Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the Louisville Metro Police Department told Fox News Digital in a statement that the agency doesn’t tolerate sexual misconduct. “We take every allegation of this nature seriously and immediately launch internal investigations once they are brought to our attention,” the statement reads. 

The spokesperson added that one of the officers named in the lawsuits was reassigned to another unit and the other was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation. 

The beleaguered agency came under fire last month after golfing superstar Scottie Scheffler was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, criminal mischief, reckless driving and disregarding signals from an officer directing traffic.

The charges were later dropped after local prosecutors called the bungled case a “big misunderstanding” over his entry to the Valhalla Golf Club during the PGA Championship.