Lee Zurik Investigation: Facebook, wine country and Dr. Galvan - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Lee Zurik Investigation: Facebook, wine country and Dr. Peter Galvan

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Another apparent vacation photo, this one from Dubai Another apparent vacation photo, this one from Dubai
New Orleans, La. -

Pictures from paradise – day-stamped, courtesy of Facebook. First-class travel to world-class destinations. An online album of trips of a lifetime.

According to the St. Tammany Parish Coroner's paychecks, he had no weekday fun outside of Louisiana in 2011 and 2012. That's because the records show he took no vacation those two years. Instead he cashed out his unused vacation and sick time and paid himself $67,000.

But a quick tour of the Facebook page belonging to Galvan's wife shows a different story.

Labor Day, September 3, 2012: Peter and Alison Galvan had a Bloody Mary toast. "First of the morning," she wrote. "Let the fun begin."

The Galvans

In Atlanta, they hopped into first class. "Look at the leg room," Mrs. Galvan wrote, beginning a "trip of a lifetime" to Greece.

Two days later, she wrote her first post from overseas -- a trip to celebrate "25 years of marital bliss". That day they "toured the Acropolis," "took a nap," then went "out for round two that night."

Thursday, September 6, we see our first picture of the vacation -- Galvan's pay stubs show he worked that day. He didn't use any vacation or sick time but, according to Facebook, he vacationed on the island of Santorini, Greece.

Balcony view

"This is the view from the balcony of their suite," wrote his wife on Facebook. She said it was "Unbelievable… Breakfast was taken here every morning."

Rick Franzo of the group Concerned Citizens of Lacombe responds, "This is wonderful, it's beautiful. But he's taking from us. He's stealing from us. He's not even supposed to be here. He hasn't taken vacation in two years, he tells us."

Four days later, Facebook indicates, they jumped to another island, Mikonos, and they "scored," getting "upgraded to the Honeymoon suite." Looks like it has a pool.

The pool

On September 11, she wrote about having breakfast on the Aegean Sea. And September 16, two weeks later, they were back in Louisiana. Galvan's wife takes her "first run after 2 weeks of vacation."

CPA Pat Lynch, who's been assisting us with reviews of Galvan's records, said, "To me it means he has taken vacation, he was paid for it, but it was not deducted from his accrual hours of vacation and sick pay. And therefore that's payroll fraud. He was paid for something, he did not provide, did not work, and he did not deduct it from his vacation bank."

On the beach

In a regular two-week period, taxpayers write Galvan a check for about $7,600. Since he didn't deduct the two-week vacation, you could say they wrote him another check for about $7,600 for the nine days of vacation he apparently used, but didn't record on his timesheet.

"And yes, it was double pay," Lynch said.

"I'm sure there's more than just this," Franzo told us.

He's right.

Mid-December 2012, Facebook indicates Galvan took another trip, this time to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

"I don't have problem with people taking their vacations," Franzo insisted. "But don't fraud the people, don't fraud the public."

But there's more.

September 2011, there is a post on Galvan's wife's Facebook page about a "beautiful morning here in wine country"..."it's 9:30" and they are off to their "first tasting… I think it's gonna be a long day."

There's a picture of Galvan on the trip. According to his paycheck, he was paid to work, not to vacation in wine country.

Facebook shows us Galvan went to Spain in May 2011, having wine at Marques de Riscal and more wine on the balcony in San Sebastian. Galvan posed on top of a mountain and near the water as they made "preparations for the evening."

It's another apparent vacation that he didn't deduct from his paycheck.

We want answers from Galvan. Tuesday morning, we went to his private medical practice – in our video, you may be able to see him darting inside the door. He wouldn't come out to talk.

So, we drove to his public office to leave yet another message, asking him for an interview.

If he ever does talk, we'll ask about this 2009 trip to Dubai -- Galvan posed with a camel for pictures on Facebook, showed off the sights of this Middle Eastern metropolis, and the coroner even got a kiss.

Remember -- we don't know if he actually used any vacation in 2009. The records won't show it, so we asked his office.

Their response: "The attorney for the Coroner's Office advised us not to answer any questions."

As we ask whether the coroner illegally cashed out tens of thousands of dollars of unused vacation money, his staff's only answer is silence.

Since 2004, Galvan has cashed out a total of 284 unused days, an average of 31 a year. For those unused days, he has been paid $177,000.

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Next installment: Lee Zurik Investigation: Galvan snubs legislative auditor's records request

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