Christopher Green | Staff Reporter
Former Texas State University Police Chief Laurie Clouse resigned from her position in June 2021 after an investigation was opened into some of her actions. Clouse resigned when the investigation concluded and is now claiming the university is retaliating against her for bringing to light Clery Act violations.
The investigation was headed by law firm Husch Blackwell LLC. The complaints investigated claim Clouse continuously retaliated against an employee who had filed a grievance against her accusing Clouse of unprofessional conduct.
Clouse told KXAN the actions she took against the employee before the investigation started were appropriate and warranted. Clouse said the university’s Human Resources Department approved a Performance Improvement Plan for the employee.
In an interview with KXAN, Clouse said the investigation was damaging to her career. Clouse claims that the investigation into her conduct was a retaliation by the university for her trying to bring Clery Act violations to the university’s attention.
“I was bringing to light violations that have potentially severe consequences for the institution, and, as a result of me bringing those to the forefront, they made these findings against me that were damaging to me professionally,” Clouse told KXAN.
Clouse told KXAN that she brought a complaint of stalking and harassment to the attention of the Title IX office and it was dismissed. The dismissal came after the Title IX office found the complaint involved gender bias and rose to the level of reporting but not an investigation.
“I believe that was in violation of Clery, and I spoke out about it. I met with the compliance officer, and I explained that I believed that this was in violation. I then talked to my direct supervisor and said that I believed that the institution was in violation and that I was very concerned because the institution was already under Department of Education investigation, which is public knowledge,” Clouse told KXAN.
In a redacted report from the investigation by “Husch Blackwell LLC,” the complainant against Clouse claims she harassed them, threatened to dig up information on them and turn employees against them.
The complainant also alleges that Clouse put them on administrative leave and retaliated against the employee, “pretty much every day in one form or another.” In the investigation report, the complainant said that Clouse “basically isolated” them and was “very uncomfortable” being in the department.
The complainant alleges Clouse put them on an Improvement Performance Plan which made it so the complainant was unable to defend themself while Clouse was trying to turn employees against them.
The investigation found that Clouse’s claim that the Performance Improvement Plan was not meant to be disciplinary was baseless. In the Performance Improvement Plan, “if the complainant did not cease insolent behavior including criticism and open mocking of a direct supervisor,” they could have been terminated. The university’s Human Resources Department also showed concerns about issuing the Performance Improvement Plan.
The investigation alleges that Clouse took action against the complainant by reassignment of reporting relationships and reprimand because of the complainant’s original documented complaint.
The employee who made the complaint stated they thought that Clouse wouldn’t have to face consequences for acting in retaliation.
“I think everyone knows that the Chief is staying and I’m getting fired. I’m about ready to pull the plug and just quit. This isn’t worth it. If the University wants to keep a chief like this, so be it,” the complainant said in the investigation report.
The investigation recommends finding Clouse responsible for the complainants’ allegations of retaliation.
In a different interview with KXAN, investigators said the claims against Clouse showed she may have acted in retaliation.
“While some of the concerns articulated by Chief Clouse to justify taking these steps may be legitimate, ultimately, we believe these are mere pretexts for her actual retaliatory motivation,” according to the investigation report. “As such, the Investigators recommend a finding of responsible with respect to [the employee’s] complaint of retaliation stemming from these adverse employment actions.”
Shortly before Clouse resigned she claims the university failed to investigate an incident on campus which is a Clery Act violation.
Texas State University responded to Clouse’s claims in an interview with KXAN claiming her resignation was not due to Clery Act violations, and that they don’t agree with her statements.
Texas State University hired Clause after the university came under investigation for under-reporting campus-based sexual assaults in 2016 and 2017.
According to Chief Clouse when she came to UPD, it was a “very, very dysfunctional agency.” Clouse stated that she knew that there were issues within the department when she was hired, and also indicated that of the 161 recommendations in the peer review report, 156 have been accomplished in 25-months.
Clouse has now retired from law enforcement after resigning from the University Police Department.
Texas State University plans to bring in Matthew Carmichael as the new University Police Department Chief.
In accepting the position, Chief Carmichael said, “After many visits to Texas State over the years and now having the opportunity to meet members of the campus community through the search process, this truly feels like coming home for me. I look forward to serving our Texas State community and rejoining my family in Texas.”
San Marcos Corridor News has reached out to Former UPD Chief Laurie Clouse but has not received a response. Corridor News will provide additional information on this matter as it becomes available.