Lee Zurik Investigation: Dr. Galvan loses a contract

The City of Slidell has cancelled a contract with Dr. Peter Galvan.

The cancellation of the contract happened earlier this month and follows a series of FOX 8 investigations that questioned an arrangement that Galvan, acting as a private doctor, had with Slidell to take care of sick inmates at the jail.

Slidell's police chief says he never saw Galvan at his jail in the three years he's been in office.

Following our stories questioning the agreement, the City of Slidell and Galvan decided to tear up the contract.

"Both parties, we both agreed that would be in our best interests and his to get out from the contract that we currently had," said Police Chief Randy Smith.

The City of Slidell paid Galvan $47,000 a year to take care of sick inmates at the jail. The agreement was with Galvan the doctor, and had nothing to do with his work as St. Tammany Parish coroner.

But Galvan used a Coroner's Office employee -- his chief death investigator, Mark Lombard -- to treat the inmates. Since our stories on Galvan began, Slidell's police chief says the service from Lombard suffered.

"Weekly service calls, weekly calls to report here to the jail… call in sometimes, we don't get an answer," said Smith.

Smith also had concerns about the death investigator treating the inmates. Smith thought Lombard was a nurse, but our investigation showed he is a paramedic. Still, records showed Lombard was deciding which medication some inmates would take. Smith said liabilities in such instances would fall back on the police department.

Right now, Slidell has an interim contract with Slidell Memorial Hospital. Smith hopes to hire a new doctor in a few months. He says the post is being drafted for public bids, and he hope to save money on a new contract.

The FBI has also subpoenaed records for this contract -- a contract that Galvan apparently didn't fight to keep.

"It is disappointing," Smith said. "It doesn't matter whether it's him or anybody else. As an agreed-upon contract for services, then that individual is responsible to provide those services. When you don't, then yeah, it is disappointing because it's accountability with taxpayer's money."