St. Tammany residents react to corruption charges filed against - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

St. Tammany residents react to corruption charges filed against coroner

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SLIDELL, La.- For the many St. Tammany Parish residents who have been following the story of Dr. Peter Galvan, the charges against him come as no surprise.

Residents who spoke to FOX 8 News say they'll be happy to see someone else step in as coroner.

"I'm glad he's stepping down and out of the way for all of us, for the people," Slidell resident Jean Thomas said. "It's better that way that he's removed."

"I think it is great, I mean, he needed to step down," said St. Tammany resident Lauren Mixon. "I believe he was accruing too much money in places that didn't need to be accrued."

Some people told us they continue to be surprised as Galvan's alleged history of conspiracy and corruption unfolds. Others, such as Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith, believe the charges were a long time coming.

"It's so easy to do the right thing. Greed will get you every time," Smith said.

Smith noticed red flags with Galvan's personal contract with the city jail long ago, and says though the wheels of justice often spin slowly, he's been expecting this outcome for months.

"I think everybody in the parish and all our citizens, not only in Slidell but throughout this area, are probably at relief that something is being done," he said.

In a press conference, parish officials eased public concerns about the future of the coroner's office.

"We have completed the first stage of this, and now we have to start rebuilding confidence back with the citizens," said Gene Bellisario, of St. Tammany Council District 9.

"It has been difficult, but we've stuck together, as the parish president said," said St. Tammany Council Chairman Jerry Binder. "We were determined to stay the course with the justice system."

Now, some St. Tammy residents told FOX 8 News, they're eager for a new coroner, and they hope their tax dollars will be used appropriately.

"What he did, it was not good for the people at all. He was just thinking of himself I think, that's about it," said Thomas.

"Hopefully we can find someone that's willing to work with the parish and fund everything accordingly," said Mixon.

"Put someone in there we can trust that'll do what he's supposed to do for the people of St. Tammany," St. Tammany resident Alvin Christophe Jr. said.

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