Two weeks after Governor's Mansion break-in, state police refuse to answer questions
BATON ROUGE - Two weeks after a man broke into one of the state's most secure homes staffed with security, Louisiana State Police have refused to answer any questions about the incident.
"The Louisiana State Police can't comment in regard to the pending criminal prosecution. Furthermore, State Police will not comment on the security protocols for the Governor, his family, the Governor's Mansion, and/or any security associated with the Office of the Governor," Captain J.B. Slaton wrote in an email to WBRZ.
Although state police are not talking, at least two high-level sources within the department told WBRZ the Governor's family was home at the time of the break-in. They also said some of the mansion's surveillance cameras were not working at the time of the break-in and had not been working for at least 30 days.
"What I can say is what I said, it's not much," Governor John Bel Edwards told reporters after news of the incident went public.
The Associated Press broke the news about the intrusion nearly a week after the incident.
In the early morning hours of April 17, Reynard Green managed to get inside the mansion undetected. According to an arrest warrant, he stayed there for nearly three hours before getting into a skirmish with law enforcement and breaking an antique table. He was charged with criminal trespassing, burglary, and battery on a police officer.
"The public can accept the fact that mistakes were made," corruption watchdog Rafael Goyeneche said. "But I think they have difficulty accepting the lack of transparency and accountability that their silence is the message that is sending to the public... That actually state police are attempting to hide something."
Adding fuel to concerns of a cover-up, when law enforcement wrote the arrest warrant for Green, the mansion's address was left off of the paperwork. The document only stated the incident occurred at a "Governmental Building."
The WBRZ Investigative Unit submitted a public records request for all the time sheets and a list of troopers working the Governor's Mansion security detail after news of the break-in first occurred. Thursday, state police denied WBRZ's request, saying that information was not public.
"The public is due an explanation," Goyeneche said. "One of two things happened, either the protocols that are in place are inadequate or the protocols that were in place were not being applied. Either scenario is unacceptable."
On Thursday, Green was released from the East Baton Rouge Parish jail on a $32,000 bond.