Archive for the ‘Jonesboro’ Category

Roller Withdraws Guilty Plea


Jackson Parish Ward Four Fire Protection District Chief Curtis Roller has withdrawn his guilty plea made last year to three counts of wire fraud, according to court documents obtained by Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO).

At issue is the amount of loss attributable to the crime, the “pecuniary gain” Roller received from the crime, and the corresponding sentence that Roller could be facing, depending upon the monetary amounts.

Roller contends he received about $19 thousand in ill-gotten gains, while the government contends the amount should be calculated upon the amount of the grant money at issue, some $800 thousand plus.

The lesser amount would likely result in a sentence of probation, versus a 3 to 4 year jail sentence for the greater amount, according to the documents.

The motion to withdraw the guilty plea was granted 1/13/15.

See here the documents:

Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea

Memo in Support of Motion

Letter from Assistant US Attorney to Defense Counsel

See here the original plea agreement.

Prosecuting the case is Assistant US Attorney Earl Campbell. Defense attorneys are Marty Stroud and Nichole Buckle.

North Hodge Update


Village of North Hodge Officials, Employees Misuse Public Funds

Village of North Hodge officials and employees, including former Mayor Geraldine Causey and former Assistant Police Chief Greg Coleman, spent more than $9,000 on equipment, supplies, and other items not necessary for Village operations, according to an audit report issued Monday by Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera’s office.

On August 12, 2014, Mr. Coleman was arrested by Jackson Parish Sheriff’s deputies and charged with malfeasance in office. Later that month, Village Clerk Patricia Tapp, who also served as a Village police officer, resigned from both of her positions. As a result, Ms. Causey contacted the Louisiana Legislative Auditor and requested an audit of the Village, the report said.

According to the audit, “Mr. Coleman used Village funds totaling $2,595 to purchase 8,000 rounds of ammunition that do not match the caliber of any weapon owned by the police department. Chief Moffett stated that he did not authorize the purchase,” and added that, “the ammunition matches the caliber for personal weapons owned by Mr. Coleman.” Chief Moffett also stated that Mr. Coleman used Village funds to purchase a truck and a lawnmower for his own use.

The audit also found that “Village police department employees incurred travel expenses of $998 for which there appears to be no public purpose.” On July 16, 2014, the Village’s debit card was used in Bossier City to withdraw $200 from a Village bank account. The supporting paperwork included an invoice from the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI), which showed that
Mr. Coleman and Ms. Tapp were registered for a conference at the Downtown Shreveport Hotel in Shreveport for July 17-18, 2014, at a cost of $200. Village payroll records show that Mr. Coleman and Ms. Tapp claimed to have attended “Class” for nine hours per day on July 16-17th, 2014.

In the report, NADDI representatives said the invoice used to support the withdrawal was not theirs. They also noted that the conference was in held in New Orleans, not Shreveport. They further indicated that although Mr. Coleman and Ms. Tapp registered for the conference, NADDI did not receive the registration fee, and the officers did not attend the conference. Total Rewards gaming card records obtained from Harrah’s Entertainment indicate that Mr. Coleman used his rewards card at the Horseshoe Casino in Bossier City on July 16, 2014. “It appears that either Mr. Coleman or Ms. Tapp submitted false documentation to support the $200 cash withdrawal,” the report said.

The audit also revealed that Ms. Tapp seems to have paid herself excess wages totaling $5,577 through unauthorized pay increases for her positions as the Village clerk and as a police officer. Former (and current assistant) Village Clerk Joanie Cannady also received excess wages totaling $1,145.

A number of other violations were stated in the report, including additional unauthorized withdrawals from Village bank accounts and unauthorized purchases of groceries and firearms.

A copy of this report has been sent to the District Attorney for the 2nd Judicial District of Louisiana.

See here the complete report.

Jackson Parish Hospital Update


Jackson Parish Hospital Employees Misuse Payroll System

Two former Jackson Parish Hospital employees mismanaged payments for accrued time off and payroll deductions, awarding themselves more than $120,000 in unearned pay and benefits, according to an audit report issued Monday by Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera’s office.

Former hospital employees Elizabeth Cheatwood and Vickie Booker received a combined $89,960 in excessive payments for accrued time off and a combined $33,197 of supplemental health insurance policies and uniforms offered through the hospital for which they did not pay. Ms. Cheatwood also received a stipend for health insurance in the amount of $26,072 to which she was not entitled.
Ms. Cheatwood was terminated on December 5, 2014, and Ms. Booker was terminated on December 8, 2014.

According to the audit report, a change in the hospital’s accounting and payroll systems’ software in December 2008 led Ms. Cheatwood, a human resource employee, and Ms. Booker, an accounts payable clerk, to discover they could be paid for their accrued time off without deducting the hours from their accrued time off balances.

At the time of termination, Ms. Cheatwood had a negative balance of almost 1900 hours of accrued time off, and Ms. Booker had a negative balance of nearly 2500 hours. At least three other employees received accrued time off payouts without deductions being made to their accounts. Hospital policy allows employees to receive cash for up to 10 days of accrued time off when an employee is unable to schedule a vacation, but the corresponding hours must be deducted from the employee’s balance.

Because Ms. Cheatwood worked in human resources and Ms. Booker was in accounts payable, they were able to misuse the payroll system, the report said. David Sanders, the hospital’s chief financial officer, stated in the report, “that all hospital checks are required to have two signatures to be valid and that
Ms. Cheatwood had control over three signature stamps used to process the payroll checks.” Ms. Booker had “blank payroll checks in her office and had the authority to print checks at her desk,” the report said.

In addition, the audit noted, Ms. Cheatwood and Ms. Booker made numerous adjustments to their individual payroll deductions and did not reimburse the hospital for supplemental insurance policies and uniforms they received.

The hospital did not reconcile its health and supplemental insurance invoices or other employee benefits to payroll deductions to ensure it received proper reimbursement. As a result, the hospital paid $200,997 for employee benefits that were not reimbursed because of undetected errors.

The report also indicates “that from January 2012 to December 2014, the hospital collected $121,968 in cash that was never deposited.” Ms. Booker stated that she took “$200 to $300 per week” from hospital collections and deposited it to her bank account or spent it. She denied taking the entire $121,968.

On March 13, 2015, state police arrested three former Jackson Parish Hospital employees and the spouse of one of the former employees, the report said. A copy of this report has been delivered to the Attorney General for the State of Louisiana.

See here the complete report.

Former Jonesboro Mayor’s Conviction Upheld, Ordered Resentenced


Former Town of Jonesboro mayor Leslie Thompson’s 2013 conviction on malfeasance in office has been upheld by the Louisiana Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. However, the ruling, released earlier this afternoon, said that:

Although all of the sentences imposed are within statutory bounds and individually are not excessive, the six-year imprisonment resulting from consecutive Counts I and II, the five-year post-incarceration probationary period for Count III and the restitution of $51,792.81 together create an excessive sentence.

For the foregoing reasons, the convictions of Defendant, Leslie C. Thompson, are affirmed. His sentences are vacated, and the matter is remanded to the trial court for resentencing consistent with this opinion.

See here the complete document.

Arrests Made in Jackson Parish Hospital Case


From KTVE-TV10

The Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed to KTVE/KARD four people including a former Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Deputy were arrested Monday as a result of a State Police investigation of the Jackson Parish Hospital.

Late last year, investigators assigned to the Louisiana State Police Bureau of Investigations received information from the Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office regarding possible criminal activity taking place at the Jackson Parish Hospital. An investigation was initiated and a search warrant was served at the hospital.

The investigation revealed evidence of payroll fraud, theft, illegal distribution of drugs and criminal conspiracy.

This investigation culminated in the arrest of four Jonesboro residents arrested Monday.

Jonesboro Board of Aldermen Tonight


The Town of Jonesboro’s Board of Aldermen will meet tonight (Tuesday, 3/10), W. Richard Zuber City Hall, 128 Allen Avenue. A public hearing relative to amending the salary for the Chief of Police will be held at 5:30 PM. The regular board meeting is set for 6:00 PM.

Here is the agenda.

Deadheads Get Snow Day; Tax Slaves Get to Work


Winter Weather Closings for Monday, February 23 – KTVE-TV10

-Lincoln Parish Public Schools: Closed Monday
-Cedar Creek School: Closed Monday
-All Louisiana Tech University campuses, including Tech-Barksdale and the Shreveport Center: Closed Monday
-Grambling State University: Closed Monday
-Louisiana Delta Community College (All Campuses): Closed Monday
-Grambling Laboratory School K-12: Closed Monday
-Union Parish Public Schools: Closed Monday
-Union Christian Academy: Closed Monday
-D’Arbonne Woods Charter School: Closed Monday
-Downsville Charter School: Closed Monday
-Mom’s Helper Daycare in Farmerville: Closed Monday
-Ouachita Christian School: Closed Monday
-Jackson Parish Schools: Closed Monday
-Jackson Parish Public Libraries: Closed Monday
-Jackson Parish Courthouse: Closed Monday
-Jackson Parish Police Jury: Closed Monday
-University of Louisiana Monroe (All Campuses): Closed Monday
-Montessori School of Ruston: Closed Monday
-Our Lady of Fatima School: Closed Monday
-Jesus The Good Shepherd: Closed Monday
-St. Frederick’s High School: Closed Monday
-Ouachita Parish Schools: Closed Monday
-Richland Parish Schools: Closed Monday
-Claiborne Parish Schools: Closed Monday
-Monroe City Schools: Closed Monday
-Delhi Charter School: Closed Monday
-Claiborne Christian School and K-4: Closed Monday
-Franklin Academy: Closed Monday
-West Carroll Parish Schools: Closed Monday
-Grace Episcopal School: Closed Monday
-Learning Tech Quest School (Full School & After School Programs): Closed Monday
-Franklin Parish Schools: Closed Monday
-All OMCAP Head Start: Closed Monday
-Bayou Gymnastic Pre-School: Closed Monday
-Unitech Training Academy: Closed Monday
-Riverfield Academy (Rayville): Closed Monday
-Vision Academy High School (Monroe): Closed Monday
-Delta Head Start & Early Head Start in Madison/East Carroll & Richland Parishes: Closed Monday
-YMCA After School Programs: Closed Monday
-Ouachita Council of Aging: Closed Monday
-Prevailing Faith Christian Academy: Closed Monday
-Beekman Charter School Teacher In-Services: Closed Monday
-Happy Days Development and Learning Center (West Monroe): Closed Monday
-Briarfield Academy: Closed Monday
-St Francis Pediatric Neurology (Dr. Pina’s Office): Closed Monday
-New Vision Learning Academy (Monroe): Closed Monday
-Missy Crain Dance Studios: Closed Monday
-College Prep Daycare and Preschool (West Monroe): Closed Monday
-Mini Scholars Daycare (West Monroe): Closed Monday
-Anna’s Lollipop Lane Daycare (Bastrop): Closed Monday
-Playhowse Learning Center (Sterlington and Playhowse -Farmerville): Closed Monday
-Debbie’s School of Dance: Closed Monday
-New Vision Child Development Center: Closed Monday
-First Assembly Learning Center Daycare (West Monroe): Closed Monday
-Happy Tails Daycare (Monroe): Closed Monday
-Monroe City Court: Closed Monday
-Delta Charter School (Ferriday): Closed Monday
-Arthritis & Diabetes Clinic (Monroe): Closed Monday
-Liberty Stylist Beauty School (Monroe): Closed Monday
-Toonie Bugs Daycare (Calhoun): Closed Monday
-Fourth District Court: Closed Monday
-Ouachita Council On Aging/Meals On Wheels Deliveries: Closed Monday
-Jackson Parish Library: Closed Monday
-Covenant Day School (Monroe): Closed Monday
-Physical Therapy, Inc: Closed Monday
-Prairie View Academy (Bastrop): Closed Monday
-Wonderland Child Care & Development Center: Closed Monday
-NE Delta Human Services Authority Offices & Clinics: Closed Monday
-Excellent Daycare (Monroe): Closed Monday
-Arco of Community Resource: Closed Monday
-Wee Learner’s Daycare: Closed Monday
-Child’s Play II Daycare: Closed Monday
-Fairpark Baptist Church Daycare: Closed Monday
-Ouachita Parish Library (All Branches): Closed Monday
-Excellence Academy Charter School: Closed Monday
-First United Methodist Daycare, Monroe: Closed Monday
-Ouachita Parish Public Libraries (all branches): Closed Monday
-Oak Grove Town Hall Meet On Tues., Feb 24th postponed to March 3rd

RockTenn and MeadWestvaco to Merge


WV and RockTenn Agree to Combination Creating a $16 Billion Global Packaging Leader

Two Industry Leaders to Create a Powerful Global Provider of Consumer and Corrugated Packaging Solutions
Combined Company Positioned to Generate Substantial Cash Flow to Deliver Superior Growth and Strong Shareholder Returns
Total Annual Synergies of $300 Million to be Achieved over Three Years
Expect to Maximize the Value of MWV’s Pension Surplus Through Plan Consolidation
Previously Announced Tax-Free Spin-off of MWV Specialty Chemicals to be Completed Post-Closing

January 26, 2015 06:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

RICHMOND, Va. & NORCROSS, Ga.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rock-Tenn Company (“RockTenn”) (NYSE:RKT) and MeadWestvaco Corporation (“MWV”) (NYSE:MWV) today announced that they have entered into a definitive combination agreement to create a leading global provider of consumer and corrugated packaging (“NewCo”) in a transaction with a combined equity value of $16 billion. The combined company, to be named prior to closing, will have combined net sales of $15.7 billion and adjusted EBITDA of $2.9 billion, including the impact of $300 million in estimated annual synergies to be achieved over three years.

“Management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations – Forward-looking Statements”

Under the terms of the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, MWV stockholders will receive 0.78 shares of NewCo for each share of MWV held. RockTenn shareholders will be entitled to elect to receive either (a) 1.00 shares of NewCo or (b) cash in an amount equal to the volume weighted average price of RockTenn common stock during a five-day period ending three trading days prior to closing for each share of RockTenn held. The cash and stock elections by RockTenn shareholders will be subject to proration such that the resulting ownership of NewCo will be approximately 50.1% by MWV shareholders and 49.9% by RockTenn shareholders, and based on the shares outstanding today, approximately 7% of RockTenn shares will receive cash in lieu of stock. This targeted ownership ratio of NewCo will facilitate the continued favorable tax attributes of the previously announced spin-off of MWV’s specialty chemicals business, which the parties intend to complete after the closing of the business combination.

Steven C. Voorhees, chief executive officer of RockTenn, said, “This transaction brings together two highly complementary organizations to create a new, more powerful company with leadership positions in the global consumer and corrugated packaging markets. This is a terrific opportunity for shareholders, employees and customers of both companies, all of whom stand to benefit enormously from the combination. Importantly, our two companies are also an exceptional cultural fit, sharing a commitment to exceeding customer expectations and a focus on developing innovative packaging solutions. Planning for the integration of these two companies has already started and we expect to expeditiously realize the full value of cost synergies we have identified.”

John A. Luke, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of MWV, said, “We are creating the leading global provider of consumer and corrugated packaging solutions – and generating significant value for both companies’ shareholders. This transaction is a logical step that is borne of our strategic progress and financial success, and it offers MWV shareholders both immediate value and the opportunity to participate in significant upside as the new company generates substantial growth from its market-focused global strategy.”

Mr. Voorhees will serve as chief executive officer and president of the combined company, and Mr. Luke will become non-executive chairman of the board of directors. The board will be comprised of eight directors from RockTenn and six directors from MWV. Other key executives and their positions will be determined according to their strengths and will be named prior to closing. The combined company will maintain its principal executive offices in Richmond, Va., and will have operating offices in Norcross, Ga.

The transaction requires the approval of shareholders of both MWV and RockTenn and is subject to receipt of certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Both parties target closing the transaction in the second calendar quarter of this year.

RockTenn operates a 2500 ton/day mill in Hodge, LA.

Jackson Parish Hospital Investigation Ongoing


A Louisiana State Police (LSP) investigation of payroll issues at the Jackson Parish Hospital in Jonesboro is ongoing and not yet complete, it was said today at a meeting of the hospital’s Board of Directors.

The board had hired a private investigator to look into alleged financial issues that they had first uncovered. When the dollar amounts appeared to be significant, it was decided that law enforcement should get involved. No timetable was given as to when the investigation would be completed.

The board went into executive session for about thirty minutes to discuss “strategic planning and personnel issues.” No votes were taken in the session, we were told.

Chief Financial Officer David Sanders noted that the hospital was “carrying on business” as usual. Administrator Lloyd Monger said that patient admissions for flu and pneumonia had increased as was normal for this time of year.

Notable at the meeting was Jackson Parish Police Juror Chuck Garrett (Ward 6). The jury appoints the members of the hospital board.

The next meeting of the board is set for Thursday, December 18, 2014, 5 PM, Jackson Parish Hospital Board Room, 165 Beech Springs Road.

Jonesboro Results


Mayor — Town of Jonesboro
All 17 precincts reporting
James Bradford (D) 56.15% 804
Alvin “Kim” Jones (D) 43.85% 628
Alderman — District B, Town of Jonesboro
All 3 precincts reporting
Robbie Siadek (R) 60.70% 173
Stacy Byrd Strickland (R) 39.30% 112
Alderman — District D, Town of Jonesboro
All 3 precincts reporting
Devin Flowers (D) 61.56% 269
“John” Williams (D) 38.44% 168


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