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WBR sheriff refuses interviews while his employee remains under criminal investigation for stealing
PORT ALLEN - Less than 24 hours after the WBRZ Investigative Unit identified an employee accused of stealing from the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Mike Cazes has refused to do an interview while the case remains under a criminal investigation.
Mandy Miller is a longtime employee of the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office. Sources said she makes about $70,000 per year and is in charge of processing ticket payments. The WBRZ Investigative Unit learned that $150,000 is missing at the sheriff's office, and when the allegations came to light she was placed on paid leave.
Despite admitting to taking money, Miller is still on the department's payroll. LSU Law Professor Ken Levy said the sheriff's silence on the matter is problematic.
"If it was perfectly on the up-and-up and perfectly appropriate for him to continue to pay Ms. Miller, I would think he would have told us by now," Levy said.
Miller's colleagues at the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office want to know why the sheriff is allowing her to stay on the payroll after she admitted to taking money. For two months, Cazes has remained silent on the issue, as Miller continued to collect a check.
"Corruption erodes the trust of the public and fellow employees," Levy said. "It erodes the trust of the officers there who, in my understanding, make less than Ms. Mandy."
The State Legislative Auditor could not comment on this case due to the ongoing investigation. State Police released a statement saying the case is still under investigation.
No charges have been filed at this time against Miller.
Cazes released this statement hours before the story aired on WBRZ Thursday.
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