Heather Nolan – NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
Lee Zurik – WVUE Fox 8 News
St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed could pocket $15,000 more in annual retirement benefits because his office reported a higher income to the state retirement system than what Reed claimed in sworn financial disclosure forms in recent years, records show.
Reed’s reported income in forms filed with the state Ethics Board was between $12,000 and $37,000 less per year than what his office reported to the state district attorneys’ retirement system between 2011 and 2013, the records show.
The higher salary figures sent to the retirement system were the numbers used to calculate benefits for Reed, who has announced he will not be seeking reelection when his current term ends in January.
Reed is the subject of a federal criminal investigation into his campaign spending and a deal he had with St. Tammany Parish Hospital that paid him $30,000 a year as a legal retainer.
“It doesn’t add up,” Metropolitan Crime Commission President Rafael Goyeneche said of the discrepancy in the records. “It makes you wonder if these documents are in fact accurate.”
St. Tammany Parish Hospital has not released certain records requested last week by NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune and WVUE Fox 8 News regarding the $30,000-a-year arrangement the hospital had with the parish’s district attorney’s office.
The delay has exceeded the period allowed under the state’s open records law to produce the documents or to set a timeline to do so. The hospital hasn’t cited a legal exception allowing it not to release the records.
Under the open records law, the news organizations asked for board minutes and resolutions setting legal fees for the district attorney’s office and other hospital attorneys between 2009 and 2013.
The hospital on Monday released the board minutes, which do not list the payments set or list the attorneys involved.
As of Friday morning, the hospital has not provided copies of the resolutions detailing the approval and has not responded to an additional request for that information. The hospital’s deadline to provide the records was Wednesday.