Former St. Bernard president sues current president - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Former St. Bernard president sues current president

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

A lawsuit pitting the former president of St. Bernard Parish against the current one will play out in federal court.

Craig Taffaro is suing Dave Peralta and five other people, and seeking more than $2 million in damages.  Taffaro says his civil rights were violated by Peralta, four other parish government employees and one sergeant who works for the sheriff's office.

Taffaro's attorney, Henry Klein, said, "Craig Taffaro's ability to succeed and elevate himself as a public servant has been irreparably harmed by this entire thing."

In the civil lawsuit, Taffaro claims Peralta exhibited a pattern of retaliation and harassment.

Last month, a storage unit belonging to Taffaro was raided and documents were seized. The lawsuit says Taffaro had a private conversation with a parish attorney, William McGoey, and alleges McGoey in turn provided false information to St. Bernard Parish Sgt. Jarrod Gourgues. The lawsuit claims Gourgues and Peralta then organized the raid without ever telling Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann.

The lawsuit also says three other men were present at the raid, all members of parish government.  McGoey, Gourgues and the three other men are also defendants in Taffaro's suit.

Klein said of Peralta, "What he did on October 23rd was totally, totally outrageous. It had nothing to do with running the government of St. Bernard. It was part of his vendetta and he put together a posse of people who were supposed to be doing other things like, for example, the head of tourism, the head of recovery, and other directors who were not directing."

Another allegation listed in the lawsuit is that Peralta, on his very first day in office as parish president, ordered the IT director to give him access to Taffaro's old email account.

Klein commented, "Now you'd think that a guy that just swore to take on a new job as the president would do something governmental but that didn't happen."

Taffaro wants $2,750,000 in damages from the defendants.

Dave Peralta isn't commenting on this lawsuit.

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