A Louisiana State Police officer being investigated for possibly lying on his timesheets may also have falsified traffic tickets as part of the scheme, according to a WVUE report.
The revelations come as part of an investigative report that exposed the disparities and led to multiple officer suspensions as allegations are investigated.
Daryl Thomas, who was paid $240,000 last year — $147,000 in overtime — was identified in a report as one of the suspended officers, and was observed at home for hours during shifts he billed for as long as 16 hours.
Seven years ago, WVUE-TV raised questions about the huge amount of overtime pay Louisiana State Police Trooper Daryl Thomas was raking in. But…
The latest report says the times listed on multiple tickets issues by Thomas in September can be matched up to times a WVUE camera recorded him as being at his Harvey home. One person issued a ticket by Thomas said the time of 8 p.m. recorded for his ticket could not have been accurate, because Thomas pulled him over in the daytime.
In all, WVUE's report identified 11 tickets that had potentially falsified times. If deemed to be intentional, such actions could constitute the criminal offense of injuring a public record, which is punishable by up to a year in prison, according to Tulane law professor Joel Friedman, quoted in the report.
Thomas is one of three state troopers under criminal investigation after WVUE showed its findings to Col. Kevin Reeves, the State Police superintendent. Those troopers have been suspended with pay, State Police officials told The Advocate recently.
The other troopers under investigation are Eric Curlee, a senior technician assigned to the agency's Emergency Services Unit, and Byron Sims, a polygrapher. A fourth trooper, who is on sick leave, is also under investigation, WVUE reported. State Police have not released his name because he has not been suspended.
The statewide highway traffic enforcement program the troopers were allegedly bilking has also been suspended. The program, called Local Agency Compensated Enforcement, or LACE, has for years been funded by district attorneys around the state, who contract with State Police and then reimburse the agency for the extra-duty shifts worked by troopers, as well as their mileage. The money for the program comes from traffic tickets written by the troopers.
The State Police on Wednesday suspended a statewide highway traffic enforcement program and began a criminal investigation into three troopers…
Information from The Advocate staff report Jim Mustian was used in this report.