Mark Lombard, chief death investigator for the St. Tammany Coroner’s Office who allegedly provided medical services to the Slidlell jail under a contract between Peter Galvan’s private medical practice and the Slidell Police Department, quietly resigned his post last Friday.
While it is not clear whether Lombard will be charged by federal prosecutors, his actions are detailed in the bill of information that accused the former coroner, who also resigned Friday, with one count of conspiring to m commit theft. Lombard’s services provided under jail contract earned Galvan $50,000 in profits, according to the court document.
The bill of information identifies “Individual B’’ as the person who helped the coroner in the jail contract, but does not name Lombard. Slidell Police, however, have said Lombard is the person who provided the services.
Lombard’s work at the jail prompted a complaint to the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners from Terry King and his wife Laura, a former coroner’s office employee. The couple questioned whether Lombard, who is a registered emergency medical technician, had the necessary qualifications to treat prisoners.
Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith ended the contract — which dated to 2007 — this summer. He cited a fall-off in services that began when the coroner’s office fell under public scrutiny and also said he thought the person providing the services would be a nurse practitioner, which Lombard is not.
Along with assisting in the jail scheme, the bill of information also says that Individual B helped Galvan buy a marine generator for the coroner’s personal boat, one of a number of personal purchases that Galvan is accused of making with public funds.
St. Tammany Parish Council Chairman Jerry Binder sent an email Sunday to the Kings, thanking them for their efforts to bring problems at the coroner’s office to light.
“I realize that both of you have endured very difficult circumstances during and after Mrs. King’s dismissal by, our now former coroner, Dr. Galvan,” Binder wrote. “I just wanted to thank you for not giving up. Your determination and persistence was the ‘key factor’ in the release of information and the subsequent media and government investigations.’’
He went on to say that Lombard had submitted his resignation to Michael DeFatta, chief deputy coroner, on Friday.
That resignation brings the number of high-level departures from the coroner’s office to four. In addition to Galvan and Lombard, Melanie Comeaux, the chief executive officer, stepped down in early May, followed by Kim Kelly, chief financial officer, at the end of that same month.