East Feliciana DA considering criminal charges against school board member
CLINTON — A school official is potentially facing charges of payroll fraud after he allegedly failed to meet his job responsibilities and still collected pay.
Edward Brooks Jr. was appointed to the East Feliciana Parish School Board in June 2016, shortly after the murder of his brother Broderick, who had also served on the board. Brooks Jr. won the remainder of his deceased brother's term when no one qualified against him at that time, and was later reelected to a four-year term in 2018. Eventually, he resigned from the post in August.
But records indicate that throughout his time with the school board, though Brooks Jr. did not perform his duties as expected, he continued to be paid as if he was a fully-functioning member of the Board.
For example, he's accused of attending very few school board meetings. He reportedly attended six of eight School Board meetings in 2016, and missed 10 of 12 meetings in 2017.
Additionally, in 2018, Brooks Jr. was reportedly absent from 10 of 14 meetings, according to a review of School Board minutes.
The following year was not very different; in 2019, he attended three of 13 meetings for which minutes are available online.
Despite these many absences, School Board audit reports show he was paid $18,450 from July 2016 through June 30, 2019. As a School Board member, Brooks Jr. was being paid $550 per month, with $50 deducted from his pay when he missed a monthly meeting.
District Attorney Samuel C. D'Aquilla told WBRZ, "We are considering payroll fraud and the grand jury will address it on Tuesday, September 8."
Brooks Jr. is the son of the late Edward Brooks Sr., who served approximately eight years with the East Feliciana Parish School Board and approximately 25 years on the East Feliciana Parish Police Jury. Brooks Sr. died of coronavirus in April of this year.