Ex-La. lawmaker booked on theft charge
GRETNA - A former Louisiana lawmaker has been booked on a theft charge that is reportedly tied to a probe of a rebuilding project following Hurricane Katrina.
A spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office says former state Rep. Sherman Copelin Jr. surrendered to investigators Wednesday. He also was booked into jail on a charge of misapplication of payment.
The sheriff's office didn't immediately release other details. But the Times-Picayune reports that the charges are related to allegations that federal funds for rebuilding the Westbank Christian Center, a private school in Harvey, were mismanaged after the 2005 storm. Copelin was chief operating officer of Recovery Development Group, the school's general contractor on the project.
Copelin, a Democrat, represented New Orleans in the House before he lost a re-election bid in 1999.
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