Chitimacha Tribal Council chairman arrested Monday on theft charge _lowres

Photo provided by CHITIMATCHA TRIBAL COUNCIL -- Chitimacha Tribal Council Chairman O'Neal Darden Jr. was arrested on June 20, 2016, on accusations he colluded with managers at his former employer, Cypress Bayou Casino, to receive an annual bonus to which he was not entitled, according to State Police.

Chitimacha Tribal Council Chairman O’Neil Darden Jr. was arrested Monday and is accused of conspiring with senior Cypress Bayou Casino employees to tamper with the casino’s employee system so he would receive thousands of dollars in annual bonus money, State Police announced.

Darden, a former employee of the casino, surrendered to authorities Monday morning on a count of felony theft, according to a State Police news release.

The investigation already led to the February arrests of the casino’s general manager, Anthony Patrone, and chief financial officer, Montie Spivey, who were booked on counts of felony theft, computer fraud and obstruction of justice.

Patrone and Spivey are accused of telling the human resources department to reactivate Darden’s employment status and the accounting department to electronically transfer the money into Darden’s personal checking account, State Police said.

It’s unclear whether Patrone and Spivey still are working with the casino. A spokesperson did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on Monday afternoon.

Darden had been suspended from his council duties since the February arrests, the tribal council said in a statement released Monday afternoon. Forensic audit specialists contracted by the council confirmed the alleged theft is an isolated event, according to the release.

“The Chitimacha Tribal government, including its Gaming Commission, acted quickly and prudently in dealing with this highly sensitive matter. It commenced immediate steps to assure that the absolute integrity of its operations was and is maintained,” the release states.

Darden bailed out of the St. Mary Parish jail about an hour after his morning arrest and was released on a $5,000 bond, according to booking records.