Former clerk employee pleads guilty to theft
A former employee in the St. Charles Parish Clerk of Court’s Office has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $600 and falsifying records while two other former office employees were arrested and booked with theft.
Kerri H. Breaux, 42, of 150 Birch St. in Luling, received a five-year suspended sentence, was placed on three years of active probation and was sentenced to one day in parish prison after pleading guilty on Thursday. Breaux will also have to perform 50 hours of community service at St. Charles Parish Hospital and must pay the clerk’s office $649.25.
According to authorities, Breaux, who had worked in the clerk’s office for more than 16 years, stole $649.25 over the course of several months. The theft was discovered by a co-worker when Breaux was out of the office, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Dwayne LaGrange.
LaGrange said that on at least seven occasions, Breaux recorded a false amount of fees collected and kept the difference.
Breaux’s guilty plea came a day after two other former employees of the clerk’s office were arrested for theft.
Brittany Jones, 25, of 122 Champagne Drive in Hahnville, was charged with two counts of theft under $500, two counts of malfeasance in office and two counts of injuring public records. Tina Bourque, 41, of 165 Martin Lane in Des Allemands, was booked with 23 counts of theft under $500, 33 counts of malfeasance in office and 33 counts of injuring public records.
Bourque was first arrested on Nov. 7 and booked with two counts of each charge.
The arrests came after an investigation by the Sheriff’s Office into the theft of ticket fines at the courthouse. Both women were fired after the alleged thefts were discovered, authorities said.
Authorities say both women are accused of taking cash and checks for traffic fines at the clerk’s office and keeping the money.
The theft was originally discovered on Nov. 2 after a person paying Bourque for a traffic citation later received notification of withdrawal of driving privileges for not paying for traffic fines, according to authorities.
The check provided to Bourque did not list a payee. Authorities say that a subsequent investigation revealed the check payee was listed as cash and that Bourque cashed the check at a local store.
An additional ticket was paid for with cash, which Bourque allegedly kept. Court records show the charges were not prosecuted and there was no record of payment.
Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Pat Yoes said that since Bourque’s arrest, several residents came forward to report that they had paid their fines at the clerk’s office only to receive warrant letters in the mail.
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