LIVINGSTON, LA – The wife of a Livingston Parish fire chief has been arrested and charged with stealing over a quarter of a million dollars from her husband’s fire district.
Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested 46-year-old Melissa Guitreau, the wife of Livingston Parish Fire Protection District #8 Chief Allen Guitreau, after it was discovered the funds had been stolen.
“More than $225,000 was taken from a fund belonging to LPFPD #8,” Sheriff Jason Ard said. “Chief Guitreau made the initial call to us. LPFPD #8’s secretary/treasurer, who had access to the money, also happens to be the Chief’s wife. Melissa Guitreau was linked – through evidence – to the missing money. At this point, it appears the money was taken from LPFPD #8’s account without consent starting in February of 2017. It’s believed that money was then placed into a personal family business account to help keep that business afloat. So far into this investigation, detectives with LPSO Financial Crimes have located 29 checks totaling more than $225,000. It appears names may have been forged in the process of taking funds, too. Melissa maintains that she acted alone.”
Allen Guitreau, who as of now has retained his position as fire chief, expressed shock after his wife was caught stealing.
“As you can imagine, my world was turned upside down today,” Allen Guitreau said. “My wife confessed to me that she was taking money. Although difficult, I immediately did what I believe is the right thing for all – LPFPD #8 & my family – I called LPSO & I called for an independent financial review of LPFPD #8’s finances. As many of you may already know, as Chief, I do not handle any of the District funds. We have a board for that. I will continue to do what I know is right & will continue to provide the best in fire protection for those in LPFPD #8.”