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Jun 4, 2012 10:39 AM by AP

Terrebonne's next sheriff wants document access

HOUMA, La. (AP) - The next sheriff of Terrebonne Parish says he's not being allowed into the Sheriff's Office to review documents and prepare to take office.

Jerry Larpenter, a former sheriff who will take over the job again on July 1, says he needs to review documents to make decisions about finances and employees.

"I want to know who's working there, what they are working on and what department they're assigned to," Larpenter said.

The current Terrebonne sheriff, Vernon Bourgeois, decided last year not to run for a second term.

The Courier reports that there is uncertainty among sheriff's office employees as Larpenter prepares to take office and decide which workers to keep on the job. The newspaper reports that Bourgeois declined comment.

Larpenter, who was sheriff for 22 years, and Bourgeois were once seen publicly as allies.

Bourgeois was Larpenter's chief deputy for several years and Larpenter endorsed his sheriff bid in the 2007 election.

Larpenter said he gave Bourgeois unlimited access to the sheriff's office after Bourgeois won that race.

"I gave Vernon my office for two months," Larpenter said. "I operated out of an itty-bitty office."

Now, Larpenter said, the pair only communicates via Bill Dodd, the sheriff's office attorney.

Larpenter also said he had to file a public-records request to find out how many people are employed by the sheriff's office.

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