La. sheriff's pension fund halts retirement payments to ghost employee after Investigative Unit reports
BATON ROUGE- The Louisiana Sheriff's Pension and Relief Fund put the brakes on paying ghost employee Randy Guidroz $41,456.38 in contributions. It comes after the WBRZ Investigative Unit exposed that he was paid for 12 years despite people working for the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office indicating there's no record that Guidroz did anything.
When Guidroz left the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office in June, he checked a line to have his entire contributions paid back to him in a lump sum. That raised red flags for the LSPRF as only two percent check that line because it means the retirees forego all of their eligible pension benefits for life.
"We have a 30-day waiting period before you can withdraw their money," Director of the LSPRF Osey McGee said. "In the meantime, we became aware from the news stories that there were investigations underway."
Guidroz was employed by the Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff's Office from 2008 until he left this year. When he was first hired he was making around $29,000, and when he left he was earning $42,000.
Guidroz was also issued a 2019 Dodge Ram Truck with 10 miles on it, but when it was turned in last month, it had 110,000 miles on it. Fuel receipts show Guidroz was fueling up nearly every other day outside of Pointe Coupee Parish. It's unclear what he was doing.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit exposed his sloppy timekeeping with inconsistent handwriting on his timesheets, and some were not even being signed by Guidroz. He still managed to collect paychecks.
"We're not judging Mr. Guidroz," McGee said. "That's for the regulatory agencies. But, we do have a fiduciary duty to the public and our members to protect the funds."
McGee said after consulting with their legal counsel they made a decision to withhold paying Guidroz the money for now.
"Our position and that of our legal counsel is that the pension fund has a duty not to release potentially disputed sums until such disputes are finally resolved," McGee said.
Right now, there are 20,000 members part of the Louisiana Sheriff's Pension and Relief Fund. Approximately 6,000 people are drawing from it.
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