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St. Tammany Coroner Stripped of Financial Power

Despite an ongoing legal battle, St Tammany’s parish government and coroner, Peter Galvan, are reportedly working together to give the parish the financial reins of the coroner’s office.

In a written statement on Thursday, Parish President Pat Brister says St Tammany is moving forward to make the required changes under the new law which include creating a special account and identifying upcoming expenses of the coroner’s office.

The move follows accusations of lavish spending by the coroner’s office at the expense of taxpayers.

Governor Bobby Jindal signed the bill that takes away the financial powers of the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office.

Dr. Peter Galvan must now give the parish the office’s money except for funds needed to operate for the rest of the year.

The parish council will have to approve any new contracts or purchases.

Galvan is accused of lavish spending at the taxpayer’s expense.

St. Tammany Coroner Under Investigation

The effort to recall St Tammany Parish Cornoner Peter Galvan is now officially on the clock.

The group Concerned Citizens of St Tammany has 180 days to get a third of the parish’s registered voters to sign a petition forcing the recall election.

Galvan is accused of lavish spending at the coroner’s office at tax payers’ expense.

In March, the St Tammany Parish Council passed a resolution calling on Galvan to resign.  Parish President Pat Brister is also asking the Louisiana Attorney General’s office to investigate Galvan’s spending as coroner.

The Louisiana legislature could get involved in the St Tammany Coroner case.

Dr. Peter Galvan is accused of lavish spending of taxpayer dollars.

St Representative Tim Burns plans to introduce a bill that will remove Galvan’s powers to spend his office’s tax dollars and instead transfer the power to the parish council.

“I was very troubled from the beginning.  Of course, it just gets worse and worse and worse,” Burns said of the allegations against the coroner that include everything from pricey automobile detailing to trips, dinners, and pay increases.

“When the payroll records didn’t match up with the vacation time spent and paid for,” St Tammany Parish President responded when asked when the allegations began to seriously concern her.

In 2004, Galvan showed voters his crumbling office and asked for higher taxes to build a new facility.

Eventually, not only did the coroner’s office get a dedicated revenue stream, Galvan controlled it — not the parish council.

Burns’ plan would take away the fiscal spending powers of the office and transfer them to the parish council.

Galvan has not commented on the allegations and did not for WGNO News.

 

 

Thursday night the St. Tammany Parish Council called for Coroner Peter Galvan to step down.

Their proposal calling for his resignation was approved with a 13 to one vote.

Wednesday St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister asked the state attorney general to investigate Galvan.

Brister wants the state to look into the possibility Galvan’s office spent lavishly at the taxpayer’s expense.

She also asked Galvan to turn over records.

The coroner was requested to go before the council Thursday but did not appear.

St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister is asking the state attorney general to investigate the office of parish coroner Dr. Peter Galvan.

Brister wants the state to look into any possibility of lavish spending at the tax payer’s expense.

She’s also requesting Galvan turn over records for the parish to conduct its own investigation.

 

“Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me” is how the old saying goes but apparently it has not been absorbed by the citizens of St Tammany. We know this because a brewing scandal has erupted over the apparent abuse of public money by Parish Coroner Peter Galvan who has eaten over $36,000 worth of food at the OPM diner while lavishing $40 large on a crony to “detail coroner fleet vehicles” (I). I don’t know about you but when someone comes to pick up my room temperature carcass I will care not whether the tires have been “Armor Alled™”.

A group calling itself the Concerned Citizens of St. Tammany has asked Parish President Pat Brister to give Galvan a good old fashioned, mob-style whacking, saying his agency has committed an “outrageous and arrogant abuse … of taxpayer funds.” While Galvan may be guilty of that charge I have to ask who the nitwits were that granted a “Coroner” so lavish a budget to start with!? That would be the bourgeoise voters of St Tammany, who back during the boom of 2004(2) thought themselves to be so permanently wealthy they granted 4 mills of property-taxpayer dough to an office that is in-charge of knowing the whereabouts of people who are immobile.

What I want to know is why any self-governing “property owner” would vote a pox on their house through property taxes, especially knowing that the Sheriff of Nottingham and his deputized army are all too willing to slap liens, and auction notices on property for non-payment?

Besides, doesn’t EVERY citizen “benefit” from the existence of a government funded coroner? If so, then why not slap a “Quincy” (M.E.) tax on sales so everyone can share in the joy of Galvan’s enjoyment of dinner “on the house”?

I suspect that the nitwittery that voted for the coroner’s property tax millage(3) are the same ones complaining today over a wound they inflicted on themselves. These geniuses have turned Ben Franklin’s adage about death and taxes upside down to read “Nothing is certain, save for death & taxes to pay for it.”

(1) http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/02/st_tammany_coroner_asked_to_ex.html#incart_m-rpt-2

(2) Ibid

(3) http://staticresults.sos.la.gov/11022004/11022004_52.html

The result of this ballot issue was as close as it could be and seeing all the controversy arising from its result, maybe should have triggered a recount. The initiative appeared on the ballot as: Parishwide — (Coroner’s Tax) 4 Mills – PC – 20 Yrs. and the final tally was:

YES 50.93% or 46820 votes
NO 49.07% or 45111 votes

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