Parish documents seized from former St. Bernard Parish president - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Parish documents seized from former St. Bernard Parish president

Updated:
Former St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro Former St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro
Chalmette, La. -

19 boxes of parish documents were seized from a storage unit belonging to former St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro this week. Deputies executed a search warrant on the storage unit after a state court judge signed off on the request.

Craig Taffaro left his position as president of St. Bernard Parish last December after losing his bid for re-election. Before leaving, Taffaro's attorney claims the outgoing president took every step to make sure the next administration had access to all pertinent documents.

Henry Klein explained, "President Taffaro ordered his people to scan everything in his office and keep it in St. Bernard Parish's records, in case St. Bernard Parish needed it."

But according to a statement released by Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann, parish employees told the sheriff's office that Taffaro had official parish documents in his possession, located in a storage unit in Chalmette. So Tuesday, deputies raided the unit and took away 19 boxes of parish records.

"President Taffaro, when he was in office, did not take anything at all belonging to the parish. After he left office he has not taken, does not possess and has no interest in having any documents," Klein said.

While Taffaro was president, the parish came under fire for allegedly violating fair housing laws. The Department of Justice has filed suit over the issue.

According to Klein, the parish was ordered to turn over all documents to federal district court related to the lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice against the parish. Klein says, just one hour before the raid on Tuesday, Taffaro mentioned to parish attorney Bill McGoey that he had documents that could benefit the parish.  A short time later, the raid occurred.

"He tried to give Mr. McGoey at the St. Bernard Parish office the documents that might be of some assistance to the parish. But instead, the parish went in and had this Keystone Cop routine of going to pick up and raid a storage unit," Klein said.

All of the seized documents are being handed over to the Department of Justice. Taffaro doesn't face any criminal charges. 

Klein says he believes parish officials hacked into Taffaro's personal email account after he left office. He hopes to file lawsuits regarding those allegations in the next few days.

FOX 8 reached out to current parish President Dave Peralta but he has yet to respond.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice says they are still in litigation with the parish and the process of discovery is ongoing.

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