State and parish authorities have raided the house of Jefferson Parish 2nd District Constable Tony Thomassie, the subject of several FOX 8 investigative reports.
The state's legislative auditor and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Department showed up at Thomassie's house shortly before 7 Thursday morning and left three hours later. They had a search warrant, and Thursday they acknowledged that an investigation of Thomassie's office is underway.
Our camera crew showed up toward the end of the raid, and caught Thomassie speaking with investigators outside his house. We also saw an investigator leaving with a box of documents and found authorities searching inside Thomassie's car.
"I can't talk much about the details since this is an ongoing audit, and we generally don't speak about the details until after we're complete with our work," said Dan Daigle of the legislative auditor's office. "But we are doing an investigative audit of the constable. And this is a little different situation since his office is his personal residence, so we had to go to his personal residence today to talk to him."
As for the escort of deputies, Daigle said, "That's typical protocol for our office. Whenever we have to go to a personal residence then it's at our option, for personal safety reasons and such, [to be] escorted by law enforcement."
In the course of our investigation of Thomassie, we've frequently found him drinking at a West Bank bar, the Double Deuce, during the workday. In one instance, our undercover camera caught Thomassie drinking while he claimed to be at work, serving court papers.
Among the issues the auditor may focus on are Thomassie's deputy constables and their badges. Thomassie has dozens of deputy constables who pay a $20 monthly fee for a badge. The Metropolitan Crime Commission says that's illegal, but Thomassie has been selling the badges for at least a decade.
Thomassie would never answer our questions, and the auditor wouldn't give us much insight Thursday into that office's investigation and the raid itself, on Barataria Boulevard on the West Bank.
The auditor says the probe could last a few months. If they find anything significant, they're obligated to pass it on to the district attorney.