(Statement by Dave Peralta, St. Bernard Parish President) – “Today my wife Sharon informed Louisiana State Police in video statement that she has decided to drop all charges stemming from a domestic disagreement. It is regrettable that law enforcement officials were summoned into this personal dispute. Sharon and I are sorry that this matter has escalated beyond a private matter.”
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It’s was business as usual at the St. Bernard Parish government building, yet some inside are feeling the heat.
Employees say Parish President David Peralta was at work Monday, but took off early. It comes as Louisiana State Police confirm an investigation of alleged sexual assault by Parish President Peralta.
“Everything is still under investigation. As far as the victim, that all remains confidential because it is a sexual nature allegation and that’s all it is at this moment. It is an allegation. Again we’re looking into the facts and it’ll be, once our report is compiled, we’ll turn that over to the district attorney’s office and let them determine whether or not charges need to be filed,” says Trooper Melissa Matey.
The St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office says the complaint initially came their way, but they say the investigation was immediately turned over to Louisiana State Police. St. Bernard deputies say the sheriff’s office never did an initial report. State police say they are still working on their report.
“We’re looking into the facts. We’re trying to gather as much information as or evidence as possible. We’re also conducting interviews,” says Trooper Matey.
State police are not releasing any details surrounding the incident or the victim.
Parish President Peralta has worked for both the St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office and the NOPD.
In a statement Peralta says:
“I am disappointed and embarrassed by the baseless allegations made against me. This is a sad and baffling domestic issue that should have never risen to this level. In short time, I am confident this will be resolved. In the meantime, I will continue to focus on my responsibility to this parish and will not be sidetracked by a personal disagreement.”
The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Department turned the case over to the state police over the weekend.
Currently, there’s no information on when the alleged assault happened, the victim, or who filed the charges against Peralta.