As the investigation into payroll irregularities at Louisiana State Police Troop D continues, retired troop supervisor and current candidate for Beauregard Parish sheriff took us up on our invitation for him to explain his part in the matter. This is his response:
Regarding November 10 article, I was surprised to see another set of accusations against me in the Louisiana Voice yesterday. If you would contact me in advance of your articles, I believe we could have a more productive conversation. You do have my contact information and I will respond to your requests.
Regarding yesterday’s article, thank you for the opportunity to address the accusations. I hope that you will use this response in its entirety. I would like to start with the headline. If I have been accused of anything it is only by the Louisiana Voice and maybe my opposition. As I have said before, I am not, nor have I ever been, investigated in the matter you are referencing. I was interviewed, as were many people. An interview is not an accusation or an investigation.
In the 10th paragraph, you say that I claim “all the troopers” named have been cleared. Please note that I cannot speak for the Louisiana State Police since I have been retired more than 17 months. However, I have included a copy of two documents and I hope you find them helpful. Please refrain from including me in any future articles about the Louisiana State Police since I am no longer affiliated with them.
Finally, your article says that I am “attacking” the incumbent for mishandling taxpayer money and for intimidating deputies. While I am aware of a number of concerns that others have raised regarding tax collection issues, that topic has not been associated with my campaign. I am focusing on my qualifications and the plans that I have to benefit our parish. If you have a specific reference, please share it with me and I will be happy to address it. Regarding the intimidation of deputies, that is a decision for each person to make on their own when presented with the evidence. I encourage your readers to listen to the 13 minute audio file available on my Facebook page “Jim Jacobsen for Beauregard Parish Sheriff.” I have not attacked anyone, nor will I. However, I do encourage people to evaluate the evidence and come to their own conclusions. Please let me know if there’s anything else that I can do to clear this up. Thank you.
Jim Jacobson, candidate for Beauregard Parish sheriff
Our response to his explanation:
Thank you for responding. You asked to let you know if there was anything else we need to clear this up.
You said, “As I have said before, I am not, nor have I ever been, investigated in the matter you are referencing”. We do not allege you were investigated in 2013. We cannot confirm whether that has changed.
You posted an exoneration letter issued to Picou. We are well aware of the existence of the letter but were not able to obtain a copy because that letter and the investigation file leading to that letter are now under investigation. We do not dispute that Picou was exonerated in 2013. We do have reason to believe his exoneration was the result of a defective investigation to protect a friend. The letter you provided does nothing to dispute the allegations. That letter shows the investigation was conducted by Troop D Commander Chris Guillory who has a history of drug abuse and is reportedly close friends with you and Picou.
We find it concerning that felony payroll fraud allegations were investigated at the troop level instead of internal affairs as is usually the case. LA Voice submitted a public records request making the exact same allegations that were made in 2013. We were initially informed they would provide the radio logs but then recanted citing they were now under investigation. The investigation is now being conducted by internal affairs and is still ongoing. We have spoken with many confidential sources who have supported the allegations. Consequently, we have yet to receive a single denial from LSP or you.
You claim you are no longer affiliated with LSP. How were you able to obtain the exoneration letter for Picou? We were denied access to this report indicating you still have some association with LSP and or Picou. Would you mind getting us the investigation file since you apparently have more access than the public?
You have not addressed the allegations. The allegations in the articles are very clear. You have yet to offer a denial. You simply offered information we already knew about and if the allegations are correct, the Picou exoneration letter will support the allegations, not deny them. The investigation from 2013 and the current investigation will eventually become public record.
With this in mind, it has been claimed that Picou was allowed to work for a small portion or none if his night shifts so that he could sleep to be ready to work at his company the next morning. Picou, it has been said by his fellow troopers, worked approximately half of his day shifts. It is alleged you and Guillory allowed this to take place before and after the investigation where he was cleared in 2013 and this is why that “investigation” is itself now under investigation by LSP. Please address the allegations. This response is an inadequate attempt at avoiding the real issues. Again, we have yet to see one smidgeon of a denial from a single source denying the allegations, certainly not from your explanation.