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Investigative Unit: Former EFP Coroner refuses to answer questions about missing records

2 months 2 weeks 3 days ago August 09, 2016 Aug 9, 2016 Tuesday, August 09 2016 August 09, 2016 4:20 PM in News
Source: WBRZ

CLINTON- The former Coroner in East Feliciana Parish lifted her silence today, following an investigation into missing records while she was in office.

In April, the WBRZ Investigative Unit showed that Laura DeJohn apparently kept no written records while she was in office.

"Whatever happened before I entered office on March 28, I have no clue as to what occurred," current East Feliciana Parish Coroner, Dr. Michael Cramer, said. "There are some things that require paperwork from the previous administration and I can't fulfill that obligation at this time."

DeJohn vacated office without turning over a single piece of paper to Cramer. When we went to question her about where the records are she had her attorney from New Orleans send us a letter.

Part of it reads, "The East Feliciana Parish Coroner's Office during Ms. DeJohn's tenure, where there was no secretarial help, was operated on a purely verbal basis. Accordingly, no such documents exist."

Since that first story and multiple follow ups later, DeJohn has refused to talk to us.

Today, we caught up with DeJohn as she was leaving court. She was subpoenaed to testify about records in a different case. She quickly walked into the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office where she hid for about an hour. When she finally emerged, she was flanked by District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla.

"No comment, No comment, No comment" DeJohn repeatedly said as she walked to her car.

Attorney David Opperman was trying to get paperwork from DeJohn for a client he's representing.

"I asked Ms. DeJohn whether there were any records," Opperman said. "She did admit on the stand she does have a record regarding this witness."

Tonight, that's raising even more questions about whether DeJohn violated a state law that forces those who vacate office to turn records over to their successor. We've learned this issue has the attention of state and federal investigators.

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