Henderson police officers charged in illegal ticket system
HENDERSON - Two of Henderson's top police officers were charged with three felony counts each following a state Office of Inspector General investigation.
Police Chief Leroy Guidry and Deputy Chief Oliver Mack Lloyd each face charges of public payroll fraud, malfeasance in office and filing false public record. If convicted, both could face up to 12 years behind bars.
Prosecutors say officers would be paid one hour of overtime for every two traffic citations writte, or $15 per ticket written.
"These officers 'working overtime' would go out on Interstate 10, write tickets, and their compensation would be based solely and exclusively upon the number of tickets they wrote," said St. Martin Parish Assistant District Attorney Chester Cedars.
Motorists in the area are questioning the entire police department after the incident.
"Seems like we should be able to trust them to protect us, to lead us. We want to be able to depend on what they're doing and know that they're doing a good job for us," said Donald Thibodaux.
Cedars says he has a strong case against Guidry and Lloyd.
"Officers of the law are expected to enforce the law. The law of the state clearly states, clearly declares that one may not be paid based upon the number of tickets that are issued," said Cedars.
Guidry and Lloyd's defense attorney Warren Ashy says his clients are innocent.
"My clients are lifelong police officers who were diligently serving the community of Henderson and haven't done anything wrong," said Ashy.
The Inspector General's report states that in a taped audio conversation an unknown police officer asked Guidry if he was still paying officers $15 per ticket written on I-10.
Guidry replied, "Oh yea...oh yea...oh yea I still got the fifteen...thirty dollars an hour is what it's called...you know...we called it thirty dollars an hour...so we can identify it...so we can identify it hourly."
The report also states that the city of Henderson made $2.4 million from traffic citations from the Henderson Police Department from 2009-2011. That makes up 80 percent of the city of Henderson's annual revenue.