Covering Louisiana

Apr 13, 2014 2:44 PM by AP

State may take against Kinder police chief

KINDER, La. (AP) - The theft and malfeasance case against Kinder Police Chief Gary Pelican is expected to be turned over to the state attorney general's office.

Allen Parish District Attorney Todd Nesom told The American Press that he will ask to be recused from the case because of a conflict of interest within the district attorney's office/.

"We have a conflict in our office because one of my attorneys already represents another (Pelican) family member in a private matter," Nesom said.

Pelican, 52, was arrested by state police in January on theft and malfeasance charges after an audit turned up what appeared to be excessive fuel purchases by the Police Department.

He is accused of using town credit cards to buy more than $6,500 in fuel, some of which was used to fuel vehicles belonging to family members, according to police.

The arrest followed a state police investigation that began after a routine audit found questionable fuel purchases made by the department.

Auditors reported Pelican spent $7,700 on fuel during the 2012-13 fiscal year using town credit cards. While some of the fuel was for official use, investigators said much of it appeared to have been pumped into vehicles belonging to family members.

Investigators reviewed credit card records and surveillance video and conducted interviews.

Under state law, Pelican, who is serving his fourth term as police chief of Kinder, can continue to serve unless he is convicted of a felony. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $8,000.

Following the audit's findings, the town clerk was asked to monitor and maintain controls over fuel purchases and use of credit cards by town employees, including the Police Department.

All workers who use town vehicles must record mileage meter readings at the time they make fuel purchases.

Their reports must be reviewed by managers.

Photo via www.americanpress.com

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