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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 11, 2013

St. Tammany Coroner, Peter Galvan, Charged With Conspiracy To Steal Funds From Coroner’s Office

PETER GALVAN, 54, a resident of St. Tammany Parish, and the elected St. Tammany Parish Coroner, was charged today in a bill of information with conspiring with two other individuals to steal money from the St. Tammany Coroner’s Office, announced U. S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr. 

The bill of information charges that as an elected official, GALVAN did not earn annual or sick leave.  However, with the assistance of another coroner’s office employee, GALVAN received yearly payments for unused annual and sick leave, totaling $111,376 over a five year period.

GALVAN, as a physician, individually contracted with the City of Slidell, Louisiana to provide medical services for inmates of the Slidell City Jail.  The contract was not with the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office, but with GALVAN personally.  However, GALVAN conspired with another individual employed with the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office to service this contract while the other individual was supposed to be working for and was being paid by the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office.  The Bill of Information charges that the Coroner’s Office employee was paid at least $50,000 in public funds to fulfill GALVAN’s personal contract.

Additionally, GALVAN conspired with an employee of the coroner’s office to purchase a $9,170 generator for GALVAN’s personal vessel, a life raft and life jackets for his personal vessel valued at $4,841, and a Global Positioning Satellite for his personal use valued at $2,395, all with St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office funds.

Finally, the Bill of Information alleges that GALVAN used his St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office credit card to make purchases of meals and other personal items with his public credit card totaling $15,606 which were unrelated to the office’s business.

If he is convicted, GALVAN faces a statutory maximum of five years in jail, a $250,000 fine and restitution.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr. reiterated that a Bill of Information is simply an allegation and that Dr. GALVAN is presumed to be innocent and he noted the investigation of the operation and personnel employed by the St. Tammany Coroner’s Office is continuing.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, and the State of Louisiana Legislative Auditor.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Carter K. D. Guice, Jr. and Chandra Menon. 

(Download Bill of Information )