May 8, 2014 6:15 PM by Dave Fields
The district attorney now confirms that he has identified the town of Delcambre employee accused of stealing deposits from the town's coffers and that he has asked the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office (VPSO) to begin the arrest process.
District Attorney Mike Harson said that the employee will be charged with theft of at least $35,000 from the Delcambre treasury. According to Mayor Carol Broussard, the employee worked for the town of Delcambre for about five years as a billing clerk and was able to keep her job for a couple of months following an investigation by town accountant Mike Broussard.
The mayor said that Mike Broussard, at the time, notified the state legislative auditor of discrepancies in the town budget, prompting a delay in the town's submission of the figures to the state. Harson verified that the Delcambre accountant's figure of $35,000 was the initial amount of disparity within the town's books. A VPSO spokesperson also confirmed the same amount had been uncovered in its investigation of the clerk and that deputies were prepared to act on a request by the district attorney.
"I requested that the sheriff's office apply to a judge for an arrest warrant for (the clerk) and proceed to execute it," Harson said.
Mayor Broussard also tells KATC that, after the town's usual certified public accountant discovered a discrepant amount during its audit of the town's books, a Lafayette firm also reviewed the town's books as part of its usual annual audit process.
It was after this point, according to the district attorney, that the Lafayette firm of Kolder, Champagne, Slaven & Company uncovered a possible $62,000 in missing funds. Harson tells KATC that VPSO didn't proceed with an earlier arrest of the employee while it worked to gather evidence and resolve questions as to who had access to the funds. In the meantime, Mayor Broussard said that the clerk was not arrested because she did not appear to be a flight risk as the investigation continued. The mayor said that the clerk resigned during a meeting a couple of months ago.
"She wasn't arrested because we didn't think she was going to leave," Broussard said.
"She's innocent until to proven guilty," Broussard added.
Harson said that, if further investigation corroborates that the amount the clerk allegedly stole is greater than the $35,000, then the charge will be amended to reflect the additional amount.
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