Questions asked on potential fire department violations
The letter below has been sent to Sheriff Greg Champagne. I hope that you will publish it, as I believe many people have the same questions that I do and we all would like to know that when his investigation is complete, we will have the answers to the questions below made public.
I am pleased to read that the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office will be investigating potential violations by Larry Cochran and the St. Rose Volunteer Fire Department. It is time to clear the air on these issues. I hope that not only will the public learn the outcome but that they can also be assured of actually seeing the answers to the following questions.
When you finish your investigation, would you please publish its findings in full, including the following:
Were those questioned under oath when providing answers? Did your investigation cover legal, criminal and ethical issues or only some of these issues?
What is the "private account" that the vfd has? Do all contributions from fundraisers and general public gifts to the VFD go into this account? Was it part of the audit? If not, should it have been?
How many trailers were actually placed at the fire station?
Where did the trailers come from & who lived in them?
How many permits were issued? To whom? Why is the one permit found at P & Z for this site issued to a Colleen Monk? Did she live there also?
Who paid the utilities on each of these trailers?
Why did Larry/VFD choose to place his mother's trailer on fire house property & hook up to VFD utilities instead of at his home? Even if, as reported, his home was being renovated, that would not have stopped added a hookup for a trailer. Why, if he is now planning on placing his mother in a trailer on "family property" (as reported in Matt Scallan's article) did he not do that from the beginning? Has this been done before Katrina as well and what were the criteria used to determine housing people on fire dept property? What role did the FD board play in these decisions? Are there minutes reflecting these discussions and decisions?
What function did P & Z play in this? Why is there no name of authorizing person on the P & Z form?
What role did the school board play in requesting the housing of school board personnel? Where is the letter requesting this? Why weren't the school employees housed in trailers on school property? Since school employees are still being employed and there is opportunity to buy and rent in the local community, why are they still being housed at the FD?
How much is the estimated utility bill for each of the trailers using FD hookup? What is the comparable rate at one of the local trailer parks here? What utilities does this rate include?
Is the mother obligated to pay rent for the time located on public property? What about the others?
I am sure that there are many other questions to be answered, but I look forward to a full and thorough report which is available to the public to resolve the issues raised.
Jara D. Roux
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