St Tammany DA Update – 7/10/14

Hospital checks to DA Walter Reed raise more questions about nature of payments

Heather Nolan – NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Lee Zurik – WVUE Fox 8 News | Fox8live.com

Whether St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed was paid a $30,000 a year retainer by St. Tammany Parish Hospital as an elected official or as a private attorney is unclear in a series of checks provided to NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune and WVUE Fox 8 News by the hospital.

Some checks are endorsed with a district attorney’s office stamp and others with only Reed’s name, the documents show.

Reed resigned from his job as the hospital board’s attorney in May, less than two weeks after the news organizations raised questions about the arrangement. No contract or documents existed that detailed what Reed did to earn the money.

The checks, provided by the hospital in response to a public records request, are made out to Reed and list the St. Tammany Parish Justice Center’s address, 701 N. Columbia St. in Covington.

A stamp that reads “For Deposit Walter Reed District Attorney” appears on the back of several checks dated between 2004 and February 2007. Checks after March 2007 show a stamp that says “For Deposit Only.” Reed’s signature appears on one of the checks.

Reed has not responded to questions about the checks.

Reed and the hospital have provided conflicting accounts of their arrangement. The hospital said Reed was paid in his official capacity as district attorney, in which case the money should have gone to the public office’s coffers. Reed said he was paid as a private attorney. Reed has declared $30,000 annual payments from the hospital as personal income on his sworn disclosure forms filed with the state since 2008, the first year the filings were required.

http://media.nola.com/politics/other/Reed%20STPH%20checks.pdf

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