Former St Tammany Parish Coroner Peter Galvan was sentenced to two years in prison on Wednesday. He must also pay restitution to the parish of nearly $200,000 dollars.
Galvan pleaded guilty in October to federal corruption charges.
He was accused of spending taxpayer money from the coroner’s office to pay for meals and luxury items including a generator for his personal boat.
Inside the courtroom, Galvan told the judge he was sorry. Outside, he said nothing to reporters.
One of the court spectators was a whistle-blower, Terry King, who helped provide documents and other information to investigators in the early stages of the case.
“You can’t know a man’s heart, and I think his actions showed what was there. And it’s not what we need to have in St. Tammany Parish,” King told WGNO News after the sentence was handed down.
United States Attorney Kenneth Polite, Jr, released a written statement on the sentence.
“Our residents expect that elected officials will provide honest services to the public, not use their offices or titles to enrich themselves. We expect, and will no longer tolerate, anything less,” Polite’s statement reads.
St Tammany Parish President Pat Brister also released a statement. Her’s reads, “The guilty plea, and now the sentencing of Dr. Peter Galvan is another step towards normalcy for St. Tammany Parish. My personal disappointment in what has happened during the last year of this ordeal can’t be measured in the number of years in a prison sentence. We owe the Court, the U.S. Attorney, and the Legislative Auditor’s office a debt of gratitude. Finally, after many months, we can now move on from this betrayal of the public trust.”
Galvan will report to prison on April 11 of this year.