Archive for the ‘Ouachita Sheriff’ Category

LA State Police Speed Trap Program Suspended


Zurik: State Police suspend LACE program amid FOX 8 investigation

Written by: Lee Zurik, Director of Investigations
Contributor: Tom Wright, Investigative Producer


Louisiana State Police have suspended a ticket-writing agreement with many local parishes, pending an internal review.

The suspension and review result from a FOX 8 undercover investigative series, State of Unrest, which premieres in the New Orleans viewing area Wednesday night on FOX 8 News at 10.

We spent much of the summer and fall on an undercover surveillance investigation and brought our findings to LSP Superintendent Kevin Reeves. Col. Reeves was noticeably upset and immediately called for the suspension of the LACE detail program.

LACE is short for Local Agency Compensated Enforcement. If you’ve seen a state trooper near the Bonnet Carre Spillway or in New Orleans East, they’re likely on a LACE shift.

Many local parishes throughout the state contract with State Police. They hire troopers to write tickets in those parishes on highways. The local government keeps the ticket money but reimburses LSP for trooper overtime and mileage.

Parishes participating in the program include St. Charles, St. John and Orleans parishes in the New Orleans metro, Ascencion Parish near Baton Rouge and Calcasieu Parish at Lake Charles.

It’s unclear how long the program will be suspended. But questions about some highly-paid police officers remain.

We’ll start to lay out our findings in State of Unrest, Wednesday on FOX 8 News at 10.

See here the memo.

Louisiana State Police suspends 3 troopers, LACE program amid payroll fraud investigation


The Louisiana State Police on Wednesday suspended a statewide highway traffic enforcement program and began a criminal investigation into three troopers accused of claiming extra-duty hours they never actually worked.

The State Police superintendent, Col. Kevin Reeves, ordered a review of the program, Local Agency Compensated Enforcement, and placed the troopers on administrative leave after reviewing surveillance footage provided by WVUE-TV.

The undercover footage appears to show the troopers “claiming hours for time they weren’t working,” said Maj. Doug Cain, a State Police spokesman.

The troopers under investigation are Eric Curlee, a senior technician assigned to the agency’s Emergency Services Unit; Daryl Thomas, a veteran trooper who works out of the agency’s Kenner-based Troop B; and Byron Sims, a State Police polygraphist.

The LACE program is run by local district attorneys, who contract with the State Police and reimburse the agency for hours and mileage claimed by troopers working extra-duty shifts and writing speeding tickets in jurisdictions around the state.

The WVUE-TV segment, called State of Unrest, captured footage of the troopers abusing the program, apparently in part by writing a full shifts worth of tickets in a relatively short period of time.


Your Tax Dollars at Work!


2017 Louisiana Sheriffs’ and Wardens’
Training and Exhibition Conference Conference

Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa
4000 Sandestin Blvd. South, Destin, Florida 32550

July 30th – August 3rd, 2017

See here the business agenda and the social agenda.

School Money Missing in Ouachita


From the Louisiana Legislative Auditor

Nearly $22,000 Missing from a Ouachita Parish Middle School’s Bank Account

An examination of West Ridge Middle School’s (WRMS) records showed that nearly $22,000 that should have been deposited into the school’s student activity bank account could not be accounted for, the Legislative Auditor said in a report released today.

The examination was conducted in response to a request from the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Auditors found that, between October 2013 and October 2014, $11,600 collected from eighth-grade honor students for a trip to Walt Disney World was not deposited into the school’s student activity bank account. WRMS teacher and trip sponsor Jodie Dean was responsible for collecting the money.

In addition, auditors found that student activity payments totaling $10,301 were received but not deposited into the student activity fund bank account between May 2014 and May 2015. Stacey Rogers, the WRMS bookkeeper at the time, was responsible for receiving, recording, processing, and/or depositing all of the missing funds. In some cases, records show the bookkeeper gave a receipt to a faculty sponsor for a greater amount than the receipt in the school’s records.

Both women have denied taking any of the missing money.

See here the complete report.

Ouachita Court Coverup Update


Palowsky appeal gets court date in Baton Rouge

The First Circuit Court of Appeal in Baton Rouge could hear arguments later this month in Monroe businessman Stanley Palowsky III’s lawsuit against Allyson Campbell, a law clerk at Fourth Judicial District Court, as well as against five judges of the district court.

The Feb. 23 hearing is among several on a docket that begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Southern University Law Center’s A.A. Lenior Hall off Roosevelt Steptoe Drive in Baton Rouge.

The three judges presiding over the docket including Palowsky’s hearing include Chief Judge Vanessa Whipple, Judge John Michael Guidry and Judge Page McClendon.

Stanley R. Palowsky III v. Allyson Campbell and others, which was first filed in July 2015, centers on Palowsky’s claims that Campbell concealed or destroyed documents he filed with the court as part of a separate lawsuit against his former business partner, Brandon Cork, and others. Palowsky also accused Campbell of payroll fraud.

Marchman: Special assistant AG involved in conspiracy

As part of her federal lawsuit against Fourth Judicial District Court officials and their attorneys, Judge Sharon Marchman filed paperwork earlier this week disputing a special assistant attorney general’s claim he had not conspired with others to accuse the judge of criminal acts.

Marchman’s lawsuit centers on claims that law clerk Allyson Campbell, Fourth Judicial District Court judges, and their attorneys retaliated against her and violated her constitutional rights when she tried to expose Campbell’s alleged payroll fraud and destruction of court documents.

Lawrence Pettiette, a Shreveport attorney who sometimes handles legal work for the state Attorney General’s office, filed a motion to dismiss Marchman’s claims against him last month.

Marchman filed a response Feb. 5, arguing Pettiette reached parts of his defense “without any citation, argument or analysis.”

He’s Not a Crook! Guv Edwards on Brother the Sheriff


Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards defends brother, Tangipahoa Sheriff Daniel Edwards: ‘He did not engage in anything improper, much less illegal’


Gov. John Bel Edwards on Wednesday gave a forceful defense of his brother, Tangipahoa Sheriff Daniel Edwards, whose office was raided by the FBI last week in connection with a federal drug probe.

“Without any fear of contradiction or ever being proven wrong, I will tell you now, he did not engage in anything improper, much less illegal,” Gov. Edwards told reporters gathered at the Governor’s Mansion for an end-of-year news conference. “I have all the confidence in the world in that, and I think that time will bear that out.”

Gov. Edwards added that he doesn’t “have much information about what they were looking for, why they chose to operate in the manner that they did.”

The FBI raided the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Hammond Police Department, last Thursday, as part of a U.S. Justice Department investigation of a federal drug task force linked to officers suspected of stealing drugs and cash that had been seized during narcotics investigations. Two former Tangipahoa sheriff’s deputies have been charged.

Law enforcement officials told The Advocate that Daniel Edwards’ computer was among the items seized during last week’s daylong raid.

Campaign Finances of Tangipahoa Sheriff Daniel Edwards


Last week’s revelations in The Hayride regarding a pricey fundraiser for Tangipahoa Sheriff Daniel Edwards prompted us to take a look at the campaign war chest of Governor John Edward’s brother, the sheriff.

As of 12/31/15, the latest report available, Daniel Edward’s fund balance was $225,876.

See here the 11/02/15 – 12/31/15 report.

During the fall, 2015 election campaign, Edwards reported $50,650 in receipts, and $208,793 in expenditures. At the beginning of 2015, Edwards had a fund balance of $399,258.

Here are the four reports covering that period.

01/01/15 – 09/14/15
09/15/15 – 10/04/16
10/05/15 – 11/01/15
10/24/15 (election day GOTV)

Edwards was handily re-elected in the 10/24/15 primary, receiving 65% of the vote. His closest opponent, Sherman Phares, got 19% of the vote.

A fundraiser for a newly re-elected politician is common, but in this case Sheriff Edwards spent less than half the money he raised combined with what he had on hand. He could fund another campaign with what he’s got in the bank now.

So why the pricey July, 2016 fundraiser featuring his brother the governor as special guest?

An answer may be in who sent out the invites and who all was invited.

According to The Hayride’s Scott McKay, an email invitation revealed that the hosts for the event were two of Governor Edward’s cabinet members – Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (DOTD) Secretary Shawn Wilson, and Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) board member Johnny Bradbury.

The invite list included engineering and construction firms from South Louisiana, McKay wrote.

So we have two of Governor John Bel Edwards’ cabinet members, who control between them hundreds of millions in state construction contracts, inviting companies that do business with state, to a fundraiser for a sheriff who happens to be the governor’s brother.

Some things never change in Louisiana.

Kind of a Pricey Fundraiser for a Sheriff


Fundraiser Invitation for Tangipahoa Sheriff Edwards

Gov Edwards Brother (Tangi Sheriff) Clams Up


Tangipahoa Sheriff Daniel Edwards, brother of Gov. John Bel Edwards, short on info about involvement in FBI raid


Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards said Friday that no one in his office — other than two people who have already been charged — have been notified that they’re targets of a federal investigation into a drug task force.

The federal probe is looking into officers suspected of stealing drugs and cash seized during narcotics investigations.

“I can tell you that my office has cooperated with the federal authorities since the beginning of their investigation,” the sheriff said.

Edwards, the brother of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, had his computer seized by the FBI in Thursday’s raid of the sheriff’s office and Hammond Police Department, according to a law enforcement official.

The sheriff didn’t answer any questions at the quick, two-minute news conference. After he finished reading a statement, Daniel Edwards walked away from a podium while a reporter shouted a question, asking if he had retained an attorney.

Daniel Edwards remained inside the Sheriff’s Office for the first several hours of the FBI’s search Thursday. After lunch, the sheriff climbed in his SUV and drove past a group of reporters without commenting. Calls to his cellphone were not returned.

More of Louisiana’s Finest Pinched


FBI raids Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office, Hammond police HQ as part of probe of drug task force


The FBI raided the offices of the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Hammond Police Department on Thursday, seizing computers, cellphones and case files in simultaneous searches stemming from a broadening U.S. Justice Department investigation of a federal drug task force.

The daylong raids closed down two government buildings in Hammond as agents conducted interviews and carried out at least two search warrants related to a nearly year-old inquiry into a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration task force accused of stealing cash from drug dealers, selling confiscated narcotics and tampering with witnesses.

Two former members of the New Orleans-based task force — both of whom worked for the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office — are facing federal charges, and one pleaded guilty earlier this year to state drug conspiracy charges.

Thursday’s searches marked an escalation of the misconduct investigation, which has been steeped in secrecy for months as investigators dug into the background of several task force members, including Chad Scott, a longtime DEA agent who has been suspended indefinitely and stripped of his badge.

Non-essential personnel were sent home, law enforcement sources said, and visitors were steered away from the Sheriff’s Office and Police Department buildings.

The materials taken included a computer from the office of Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards, said one law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the operation. Edwards is the brother of Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Iberia Sheriff’s Trial 10/31


Iberia sheriff’s civil rights violation trial set Oct. 31 in Shreveport

By Gary Hines

The trial of Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal, who is charged with directing the beatings of prisoners by his deputies, will be held in Shreveport because of extensive publicity surrounding the case in Acadiana.

The trial will begin Oct. 31 at the United States Court House. It is expected to last two weeks.

Scheduled to be tried along with Ackal are a top supervisor in the sheriff’s department and a former captain. All have pleaded not guilty.

Nine other deputies have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the federal investigation alleging a series of beatings inside the Iberia Parish jail’s chapel.

Prosecutors said inmates were beaten there because there were no surveillance cameras. Ackal allegedly directed the beatings, telling deputies to “take care” of certain inmates. The indictment against Ackal also alleges some inmates were beaten because they were accused of making improper comments toward deputies, while one inmate had complained about jail conditions.