Federal jury sides with former ATC Commissioner Troy Hebert in lawsuit

(WAFB) - A federal jury sided with former Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) Commissioner Troy Hebert, in a lawsuit filed by an ex-employee.

The suit was filed by Brette Tingle, a longtime ATC enforcement agent supervisor fired in 2015. According to Hebert, Tingle was fired after learning of threatening, racial, and sexual text messages found on a state-issued cell phone and falsification of payroll documents, stemming from GPS reports on his state vehicle.

In his lawsuit, Tingle claimed his termination was done in retaliation for testimony he gave against Hebert in another matter. His suit also accused Hebert and the ATC of defamation of character and invasion of privacy.

According to Hebert's attorney, Edward Kohnke, the jury unanimously ruled in favor of Hebert and the ATC on all claims following a six-day trial.

"It certainly supported the evidence," said Kohnke.

"Under our current broken system, this is what happens to an agency head that goes in and runs their agency like a business, holds workers accountable, and cuts the number of state employees in half. They get sued," said Hebert in an emailed statement.

Copyright 2018 WAFB. All rights reserved.