Allegations over missing money prompt investigation
PORT ALLEN - An investigation is underway by the state attorney general over allegations money went missing after a fundraiser in West Baton Rouge Parish.
It centers around West Baton Rouge Parish Deputy Donna LeBlanc. Her daughter Carli Jo was in a bad car wreck in July, and the community came together to raise money for her medical expenses. Money was donated to a GoFundMe account, and what happened to that money is the topic of the investigation.
"I don't want anyone to say I covered up for Donna," Sheriff Mike Cazes said. "I don't want State Police involved because her husband or boyfriend is working for State Police. Therefore, I myself referred it to the attorney general of the state of Louisiana."
Over the weekend, a softball tournament and jambalaya dinner was held to raise even more money. That money has not been turned over to LeBlanc.
Walt Braud III helped organize it. He released this statement: "By no means have any of these funds been dispersed to anyone in the family of Carli Jo or to anyone else. We as a group decided that we would pay the medical bills as they were presented to us until all bills are paid/money exhausted. If there are any funds remaining we will as a group decide how we will disperse them throughout the community to charitable organizations or those in need."
None of the fundraiser organizers or people who set up accounts for Carli Jo wanted to go on camera. However, all said they feel like they were thrown for a loop.
We reached out to Donna LeBlanc multiple times, showing up where she lives twice trying to get an interview. We also called her numerous times and sent her text messages.
Mark Whitmore, a state trooper who apparently lives with her, sent News 2 a text message which said,"I do not wish to comment or answer any questions. Do not enter my property again."
Sheriff Cazes believes the show of donations is a true testament that the community cares for Carli Jo.
"I was out there, we all pulled together," Cazes said. "Matter of fact, the department has given her a lot of their vacation time to help her out in this time of need. It's shocking to me."
Provisions on the GoFundMe page indicate that people need to do their homework and trust who they are donating money to. It's unclear how long the state's investigation will take.