After a medical journal article spawned reports that surprised and alarmed some in the community, Children's Hospital held a news conference Thursday.more>>
After a medical journal article spawned reports that surprised and alarmed some in the community, Children's Hospital held a news conference Thursday to address public concerns about a deadly fungal outbreak that resulted in the deaths of five patients in 2008 and 2009.more>>
We found Dr. Peter Galvan's car, the one that taxpayers finance. At 2:00 Friday afternoon, we spotted that public car at Galvan's private medical practice. As we found in our investigation, Galvan's getting paid as coroner in St. Tammany Parish, but seeing patients much of the workweek at his private practice.
The Parish Council asked the legislative auditor to look into the coroner's office. FOX 8 News has learned that the auditor has opened an investigation.
When they begin to look at records, they will find questionable spending on alcohol: beer, wine strawberry mojitos and Jim Beam specials.
Kort Hutchison of the Concerned Citizens of Lacombe says putting alcohol on a public credit card does not surprise him. That is because, according to drawings of Galvan's new coroner complex in Lacombe, the good doctor has a wet bar attached to his office, steps from his desk.
"Why should the taxpayers pay for building and supplying a wet bar?" Hutchison asked.
The auditor will also find questionable charges by Galvan's CFO, Kim Kelly. She put dozens of grocery trips on her public credit card – once, she even charged taxpayers for Herbal Essence shampoo.
State Representative Tim Burns (R-Mandeville) says he was shocked to learn that Dr. Peter Galvan could raise his own annual salary, jumping in about a decade from $54,000 to $200,000.
"It is abusive that a public servant can raise their salary to that degree," Burns told us. "It's definitely an unintended loophole in the law that needs to be changed."
The loophole is a 2007 bill that gave the coroner control over all salaries in his office. Bill sponsor A.G. Crowe says he never intended for Galvan to be able to set his own salary. He only wanted to give him control of other salaries in his office. When we asked Crowe if he thinks elected officials should be setting their own salaries, he replied, " No, I do not."
Burns told FOX 8 Thursday that he will sponsor a bill in April's legislative session that tightens the grip on Galvan, "a bill to perhaps make the office more like other coroners' offices, where the salaries are fixed, fixed by someone on the outside."
Galvan's been able to give himself significant raises. Months after Katrina, for instance, he upped his salary 39 percent. Galvan now earns more than any other elected official in Louisiana.
Burns said, "I just don't, you know, jump on a bandwagon or jump on a fellow public official just to get notoriety or the headlines. But there was just something about that, about paying himself nearly $230 thousand, you know, on top of a medical salary. That was just… sort of shocked the conscience, if you will."
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:56 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:56:09 GMT
Good morning! Agnes DeRouen in the KPLC 7 Newsroom with a look at what we're working on for 7News@Noon. A deadly new virus, spread by mosquitoes enters the western hemisphere, and experts say there'smore>>
Agnes DeRouen in the KPLC 7 Newsroom with a look at what we're working on for 7News@Noon.more>>
Thursday, April 17 2014 4:43 PM EDT2014-04-17 20:43:50 GMT
Officials with the VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston say a North Charleston man who was initially federally charged with a $525 fine for an $.89 drink refill will instead be given a warning.more>>
Officials with the VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston say a North Charleston man who was initially federally charged with a $525 fine for an $.89 drink refill will instead be given a warning. more>>
Thursday, April 17 2014 1:55 PM EDT2014-04-17 17:55:55 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A so-called Voodoo priest's Mid-South home is concerning many people in the area. The man's house and lawn have interesting items, some that appear to be related to Voodoo. His neighbor saysmore>>
A so-called Voodoo priest's Mid-South home is concerning many people in the area. more>>
Thursday, April 17 2014 3:20 PM EDT2014-04-17 19:20:39 GMT
According to the Louisiana Attorney General, a Denham Springs man has been arrested on charges of multiple sex crimes against children.Giles Frederick Thibodeaux, Jr., 44, was arrested Wednesday and chargedmore>>
According to the Louisiana Attorney General, a Denham Springs man has been arrested on charges of multiple sex crimes against children.more>>
Friday, April 18 2014 8:03 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:03:19 GMT
The search continues for a man accused of killing his wife and son early Thursday morning. Ronald Green Sr., 44, of Gonzales, is wanted on two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Dewonamore>>
The search continues for Ronald Green Sr., 44, of Gonzales, the man accused of killing his wife and son early Thursday morning.more>>
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