Posted: Jul 25, 2012 4:31 PM by Chris Nakamoto
Updated: Jul 25, 2012 4:31 PM
PORT ALLEN - A News 2 investigation found that thousands of dollars donated to West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Mike Cazes' re-election campaign came from companies tied to the family of convicted drunk driver Victoria Gosserand.
A total of $7,200 was donated from three separate companies all registered to James Moore or listing him as an officer, according to campaign finance reports News 2 obtained from the state Ethics Board. Moore is Gosserand's grandfather.
Gosserand killed Terri Parker and badly injured Kyle Rivere after she drove drunk moments before Christmas Eve in 2009. At least $4,000 was donated to Sheriff Cazes by two different companies either registered or tied to Moore after the crash occurred. A total of $3,200 was donated before the crash.
When Gosserand was arrested in 2009 for the crash, people immediately questioned if she was receiving special treatment. A News 2 investigation uncovered last week that Gosserand is the only woman in a prison work program. She also sleeps in a cell by herself at the West Baton Rouge Parish Jail. No one will tell News 2 why she is serving her time in West Baton Rouge Parish when the crash occurred in Pointe Coupee Parish.
News 2 found two different campaign donations were made by Reliable Production Service registered in Livonia and tied to James Moore in September of 2009.
In May 2010 Liberty Resources Incorporated gave $2,000 to the Sheriff. It also is either registered or tied to James Moore, according to the Secretary of State's website.
Finally, in August 2011, Delta Land Services donated $2,000 to the Sheriff. That company is also registered or lists James Moore as an officer with the company.
"It's favoritism, pretty much favoritism," said a West Baton Rouge Parish jailer, who did not want to be identified for fear of retribution. "Any other Joe Blow who committed this crime would have been locked down, not walking around leisurely."
Troy Maranto ran against Cazes last October. He said he's witnessed questionable things before when he worked at the West Baton Rouge Parish Jail.
"Morally we know it's not right," Maranto said. "I believe it puts a black eye on the Sheriff's Office of West Baton Rouge Parish."
Maranto said he would like to see the special arrangement end now.
Calls to Sheriff Mike Cazes and James Moore were not returned.