LouisKent.JPG

East Feliciana Police Juror Louis Kent

The longtime head of the East Feliciana Parish Police Jury was arrested Tuesday on felony corruption charges after authorities say he allowed an acquaintance and several others to take asphalt and other material from a parish-owned storage yard.

Louis Kent, 67, was booked him into the parish jail about 1 p.m. on suspicion of malfeasance in office after he turned himself in to state troopers, according to local authorities and State Police.

During the investigation, detectives discovered several other people had removed material from the storage yard, State Police spokesman Taylor Scrantz said in a statement Tuesday.

The arrest followed an incident earlier this month when sheriff's deputies questioned people who had taken asphalt from a parish-owed site a few miles south of Clinton near La. 955. Police haven't said exactly how much material people took from the storage yard.

The sheriff's office turned their investigation over to state authorities due to the  close relationship between the agency and the police jury, which also includes sharing a building, said East Feliciana Chief Deputy Bill Cox.

Kent was elected to the police jury in the mid-1990s and has served as president for more than a decade.

It wasn't immediately known if Kent had a lawyer representing him to comment on the arrest and efforts to reach him Tuesday afternoon were unsuccessful.

Malfeasance in office carries fines up to $5,000 and up to five years in jail, as well as restitution if a public official’s actions led to losses for the state or local government.

Tuesday's arrest marked the second public corruption arrest this month in the parish.

A grand jury earlier this month indicted parish school board member Edward Brooks Jr. for payroll fraud, which was unrelated to the police jury president's arrest.

School district records show Brooks missed nearly two-thirds of public meetings since taking office in 2016 while still collecting a monthly salary of $500 for months he was absent.

Kent was listed as an inmate at the parish jail late afternoon, according to an online jail roster. Details about whether he was issued a bond weren't available.


Email Youssef Rddad at yrddad@theadvocate.com, and follow him on Twitter @youssefrddad