St Tammany DA Update – 9/11/14

Legislative auditor will review former St. Tammany prosecutor’s retirement contributions

Heather Nolan – NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
Lee Zurik – WVUE Fox 8 News

The state legislative auditor has agreed to review retirement contributions a former assistant in District Attorney Walter Reed’s office received through an arrangement his private law firm had with the St. Tammany Parish School Board.

E. Pete Adams, the head of the state district attorney’s retirement system, said Wednesday he asked the legislative auditor to look into the payroll practices and retirement contributions of Harry Pastuszek, who retired as a part-time assistant district attorney in Reed’s office in July. Adams confirmed the legislative auditor agreed to review Pastuszek’s retirement benefits.

NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune reported last week that the school board has paid Harry P. Pastuszek Jr. and Associates more than $1.4 million for legal services since 2011.

School board records show that in addition to monthly checks to Pastuszek’s firm, the board sent a separate check to Reed’s office every month that went toward Pastuszek’s public retirement, district spokeswoman Meredith Mendez has said.

A St. Tammany Parish School Board resolution shows Pastuszek’s private law firm – not Pastuszek personally or the district attorney’s office – has been paid for legal services since Nov. 1, 1992.

In a statement Wednesday, Reed said the school board started writing checks directly to Pastuszek’s law firm in 1993.

Pastuszek has not publicly commented on the arrangement.

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