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Public Safety Director at New Orleans convention center allegedly stole 80 N95 masks from temporary hospital

Five arrested on fraud charges
Posted at 9:02 PM, Apr 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-04 22:06:28-04

The Public Safety Director at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans was arrested on Friday after authorities say he stole 80 masks meant for medical staff at the temporary hospital site.

The New Orleans Advocate reports that Vernon Giscombe, 58, has been suspended indefinitely while the facility conducts an internal investigation into the incident.

Photo courtesy The New Orleans Advocate, OPSO

Louisiana State Troopers say a state Department of Public Safety Officer saw a woman leave the convention center Friday night with two boxes, which she placed in a vehicle. The officer stopped the car and learned the woman and the driver, Giscombe, worked for the convention center's public safety department.

Giscombe admitted that earlier in the day he had gotten another employee to bring him another two boxes of masks. Troopers later found those boxes at Giscombe's home.

Each box contained 20 N95 masks.

Giscombe was arrested and charged with allegedly failing to perform his duties to the public.

According to Giscombe's LinkedIn profile, he joined the center's staff in 2013. His bond has been set at $2,500. He could face up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000 if convicted.

Read more from The New Orleans Advocate here.