BRPD officer agrees to settlement in defamation lawsuit

John Dauthier (Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office)
John Dauthier (Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge police homicide detective has agreed to a $45,000 settlement in a defamation case.

The East Baton Rouge Metro Council still has to approve the settlement.

Det. John Dauthier of the Baton Rouge Police Department sued an interim chief and two co-workers after his arrest for allegedly buying painkillers online without a prescription.

Dauthier was arrested on Nov. 10, 2010. He was put on unpaid leave. An investigation was done. In February 2011, the homicide detective went back to work.

Dauthier was suspended for 28 days. He was not prosecuted because the district attorney and the attorney general said they had no evidence of criminal activity.

The lawsuit filed in April 2011 claimed Dauthier was defamed and wrongfully arrested for something that was not a crime.

His attorney said her client was prescribed the non-narcotic pain killer Tramadol for headaches. She added Dauthier went online to get it because it was much cheaper than paying the co-payment required through the police department's health insurance policy.

According to the lawsuit, the two officers "improperly and maliciously abused their authority to 'create' a law that does not exist." This 'created' law "defines criminal behavior of a pharmacist, in an attempt to confuse the issue and further criminalize Dauthier's actions."

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