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Louisville police chief who charged Scottie Scheffler is forced to resign after shock controversy

The Louisville police chief responsible for the failed case against world No. 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler was forced to resign this week.

Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel vowed to “respect the legal process” and “let it play out” after Scheffler’s shocking arrest at the PGA Championship in May.

The golfer was taken to jail and charged with a misdemeanor – second-degree assault on a police officer – after being detained while trying to enter Valhalla.

But now Gwinn-Villaroel has become the third full-time Louisville police chief to resign or be fired since 2020. The department has had a revolving door at the top since officers fatally shot Breonna Taylor during a botched drug raid that year.

Officers were criticized for the way they handled Scheffler’s case before all charges against the world number 1 were dropped.

Louisville Police Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel (pictured) was forced to resign this week

She was responsible for the failed case against world number 1 golfer Scottie Scheffler

She was responsible for the failed case against golfer Scottie Scheffler, world number 1

But Gwinn-Villaroel resigned after being suspended for mishandling a sexual harassment claim about an officer.

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The department has been convulsed in recent weeks by allegations of sexual harassment. Last week, two female officers filed lawsuits alleging they had been sexually harassed by fellow officers in recent years.

Mayor Craig Greenberg said Tuesday that the conduct alleged in the lawsuits is “unacceptable and inexcusable.”

“Everyone should be treated with respect by their colleagues,” Greenberg said. ‘And everyone has a responsibility to treat others with respect. That should be the case in every workplace.’

Gwinn-Villaroel was suspended for mishandling a complaint Major Shannon Lauder filed against a fellow police major.

Lauder reported it to Gwinn-Villaroel at a command staff meeting in May, but later at that same meeting the major was promoted to lieutenant colonel by Gwinn-Villaroel.

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg (left) announced Gwinn-Villaroel's resignation on Tuesday

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg (left) announced Gwinn-Villaroel’s resignation on Tuesday

Scheffler was accused of dragging Detective Bryan Gillis (pictured) to the ground in Valhalla

Scheffler was accused of dragging Detective Bryan Gillis (pictured) to the ground in Valhalla

Greenberg named Paul Humphrey, who took over as acting chief after Gwinn-Villaroel was suspended June 12, as interim chief. This is the fourth interim chief since 2020.

The mayor did not elaborate Tuesday on why Gwinn-Villaroel resigned or whether he asked her to leave the department.

Greenberg said sexual harassment training procedures would be improved and the department’s policy that complaints of harassment must go through an officer’s chain of command would be changed.

That would give officers other options to report those complaints. Officers who violate sexual harassment policies could be fired, he said.

Greenberg said there will not be an active search for a new full-time chief at this time. Gwinn-Villaroel came to Louisville from the Atlanta Police Department in 2021 along with former Louisville Chief Erika Shields, who hired her as deputy chief. Gwinn-Villaroel was named full-time chef in July 2023.

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Scottie Scheffler Breonna Taylor

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