Former Jefferson Parish constable, long accused of drinking on the job, booked on DWI in Westwego _lowres

Tony Thomassie

Tony Thomassie, a former Jefferson Parish constable who lost his bid for re-election last year amid a cloud of controversy, including allegations he tended to become soused on the job, was booked on counts of DWI and careless operation this week after crashing into a vehicle in Westwego.

Police said his blood-alcohol content registered 0.267 — more than three times the legal limit for driving.

The crash happened Wednesday evening in front of a Winn-Dixie on the West Bank Expressway. Thomassie, 67, of Marrero, ran into the back of a car that had slowed down to turn into the grocery store’s parking lot, Westwego Police Chief Dwayne Munch said.

When officers arrived, Munch said, they learned that Thomassie “had stumbled out of the vehicle” following the crash. The victims, he said, “were concerned that either something was wrong with him or he was intoxicated.”

“When the officers went to check on him, he smelled strongly of alcohol,” Munch said. “His speech was slurred.”

The police chief said Thomassie failed a field sobriety test “due to his impairment.”

He said Thomassie asked officers multiple times to afford him “professional courtesy.”

“You get people asking for breaks all the time. It’s not just former constables,” Munch said. “We don’t play those kind of games. There’s no breaks with us for DWI.”

Thomassie, who could not be reached for comment Thursday, was first elected constable of the 2nd Justice Court in November 1987. He held the office continuously, working from home and earning a nearly six-figure annual salary, until December, when Wayne Nocito handily defeated him in a runoff.

The Louisiana Board of Ethics in December charged Thomassie with illegally employing his wife, Patricia, to handle garnishment accounts.

He also was accused of using office funds “to pay for personal expenses not related to his duties as constable,” including food and entertainment.

Follow Jim Mustian on Twitter, @JimMustian.