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Wilson v. Tregre

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

May 22, 2015

TREGG WILSON, Plaintiff - Appellant
v.
MIKE TREGRE, Sheriff, Individually and in his Official Capacity as Sheriff, St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, Defendant - Appellee

Page 323

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. USDC No. 2:13-CV-5612.

For TREGG WILSON, Plaintiff - Appellant: Todd Slack, Huber, Slack, Thomas & Marcelle, L.L.P., New Orleans, LA.

For MIKE TREGRE, Sheriff, Individually and in his Official Capacity as Sheriff, St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, Defendant - Appellee: Carl A. Butler, Michael L. Fantaci, Deborah A. Villio, LeBlanc Butler, L.L.C., Kenner, LA.

Before HIGGINBOTHAM, JONES, and HIGGINSON, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 324

STEPHEN A. HIGGINSON, Circuit Judge:

Tregg Wilson appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of his former employer, Sheriff Mike Tregre, dismissing his claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Louisiana state law. For the following reasons, we AFFIRM.

FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

Wilson was formerly employed as Chief Deputy in the Sheriff's office of St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. In May 2013, during his employment as Chief Deputy, Wilson learned that the interrogation rooms in the Criminal Investigative Division of the Sheriff's Office were under 24-hour video and audio surveillance. There was visible camera equipment in each room. In addition to sending a video feed to the Criminal Investigative Division's computer network where the interviews could be manually recorded, Wilson learned that the equipment also operated on a motion-activated sensor that automatically sent recordings to a " Milestone Server" that saved recordings for up to thirty days.

Wilson, who is also an attorney, believed that this recording equipment might present legal problems for the Sheriff's Office. He discussed his concerns with Sheriff Tregre, who then ordered an internal investigation. Wilson also reported his concerns to Internal Affairs and the District Attorney, who requested that the State Police investigate the issue. The Louisiana State Police conducted an investigation and interviewed Wilson. The State Police ultimately issued a report that concluded that the Sheriff's Office had not violated any criminal laws. The District Attorney also requested that the Sheriff's Office produce all videos recorded in the interrogation rooms so that they could be reviewed under Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963).

On June 10, 2013, Sheriff Tregre terminated Wilson's employment. Wilson then filed this lawsuit, raising claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Louisiana Constitution, and the Louisiana whistleblower statutes. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Sheriff Tregre and dismissed all of Wilson's claims. The district court also denied Wilson's motion for a new trial, which the district court construed as a motion to amend the judgment, and Wilson's motion to voluntarily dismiss without prejudice one of Wilson's whistleblower claims. This appeal timely followed.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

This court reviews a district court's grant of summary judgment ...


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