Former St. Tammany Parish coroner indicted by state grand jury

File photo of St. Tammany Parish Coroner Peter Galvan
File photo of St. Tammany Parish Coroner Peter Galvan

COVINGTON, LA (WVUE) - A special grand jury has indicted former St. Tammany Parish Coroner Peter Galvan.

The grand jury met Friday in Covington. Galvan now faces three felony counts of theft. The Louisiana Attorney General's Office accuses Galvan of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the coroner's office.

A legislative audit revealed Galvan used his position to illegally take funds from the office for his personal gain, according to investigators.

Prosecutors allege that Galvan used the office's credit card on to make personal purchases and used office funds to purchase items for his boat.

The state audit also revealed that Galvan received almost $160,000 in payments for unused annual and sick leave that was not entitled to him.

Galvan is also accused of committing theft when he used an unqualified employee of the coroner's office to service a private contract with the city of Slidell.

Galvan, who was a practicing physician, was contracted to provide medical services to the inmates at the Slidell City Jail. Instead, he sent an unqualified coroner's office employee to provide services instead of doing it on his own time, according to prosecutors.

They estimate Galvan stole a total of $584,969 from the St. Tammany Parish Coroner's Office.

"As a doctor and elected official, Galvan used his position of public trust to steal hundreds of thousands from the citizens of St. Tammany Parish. Through this indictment we intend to ensure full restitution is made to the taxpayers," Assistant Attorney General David Caldwell said.

A federal judge previously ordered Galvan to pay $200,000 for his conviction. Galvan is serving two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to using public money for personal use.

A state grand jury indictment could force him to pay back more money.

An arraignment date has not been set.

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