St. Tammany Parish coroner pleads not guilty in federal court

New Orleans, La. - Embattled St. Tammany Parish coroner Dr. Peter Galvan entered a plea of not guilty Wednesday in federal court.

Federal magistrate Sally Shushan set bond at $100,000. Galvan could face a sentence of up to five years and a fine of $250,000 if convicted. Shushan also placed travel restrictions on Galvan. He may only travel within the United States and travel outside of Louisiana and Mississippi must be approved.

Federal investigators filed corruption charges against Galvan linked to questionable spending in office, improper cash-outs of vacation and sick days, and Galvan's contract to provide medical services to inmates at Slidell's city jail.

Prosecutors delivered a bill of information Friday at the federal courthouse in New Orleans. It indicates the coroner is charged with conspiracy to commit theft of property and several other corruption charges.

That Galvan is charged in a bill of information, rather than an indictment, is an apparent sign that he is cooperating with investigators and may be planning a plea deal.

A trial date has been set for December 16th.