Former St. Tammany Parish Coroner Indicted for Felony Theft

COVINGTON — A St. Tammany Parish Grand Jury today returned a three felony-count indictment against former St. Tammany Coroner Peter Galvan, according to criminal prosecutors with the Louisiana Attorney General’s Public Corruption Unit.

Galvan is charged with three counts of felony theft for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office.  A Louisiana Legislative Audit submitted to the attorney general’s public corruption unit revealed that Galvan used his public position to illegally siphon funds from the coroner’s office for his personal gain.  Prosecutors allege that Galvan used the office’s credit card on numerous occasions to make personal purchases, and also used office funds to purchase items for his boat such as a generator and a global positioning system.  The state audit also revealed that Galvan received an estimated $160,000 in payments for unused annual and sick leave for which he was not entitled to as an elected official.

Prosecutors further allege that Galvan committed theft when he used an employee of the coroner’s office to service his private contract with the city of Slidell. As a practicing physician, Galvan maintained a personal contract with the city to provide medical services to inmates housed at the Slidell City Jail.  Prosecutors allege that, instead of servicing the contract on his own time, Galvan sent an unqualified employee of the St. Tammany Coroner’s Office to service the inmates, all while that employee was being paid by the coroner’s office.

 It is estimated that Galvan stole a total of $584,969 from the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office.

Galvan is currently serving a two-year jail sentence after pleading guilty in October to the federal charge of conspiring to steal government funds.  State prosecutors say that Galvan will now be held accountable for state charges and are seeking full restitution for the stolen funds.

Assistant Attorney General David Caldwell said, “As a doctor and elected official, Galvan used his position of public trust to steal hundreds of thousands from the citizens of St. Tammany Parish.  Through this indictment we intend to ensure full restitution is made to the taxpayers.”

An arraignment date has not yet been scheduled.

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