Lee Zurik Investigation: DA's brother quits St. Tammany Hospital job

Richard Reed's profile photo on Facebook
Richard Reed's profile photo on Facebook
Reed's bio on his funeral home's web site
Reed's bio on his funeral home's web site

Sources close to St. Tammany Parish Hospital tell FOX 8 News that Walter Reed's brother has resigned from a clerk job at the hospital, following our investigation of Reed's own arrangement with the hospital.

Our sources tell us that the hospital had employed Richard Reed for at least a decade. During the same time period, Walter Reed had a questionable legal arrangement with the hospital. The arrangement was not spelled out in any contract or agreement, and the DA never had to submit an invoice for payment.

"Any law firm in town would tell you, when they submit a bill to a client, they always detail – in excruciating detail – all the work that they did," said Tulane law professor Joel Friedman in an interview last month. "Twelve minutes writing a letter, six minutes on the phone… so that the client has an understanding of what the money is going for. Here it's even more required, it seems to me, because this is a public entity paid for by our tax funds."

The hospital and the DA had conflicting stories on the arrangement. The hospital told us it was with the DA's office, while Reed said it was a personal arrangement. He kept the $30,000 that the hospital paid every year.

Now FOX 8 News and NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune have learned that Reed's brother was an employee of the hospital during that same time period, most recently working as a clerk. Those sources say Richard Reed put in his two weeks' notice last Friday; his last day will be Friday, June 27.

He won't be completely out of work. While Richard Reed has been working at St. Tammany Parish Hospital - as a full-time employee, our sources say - a local funeral home lists him on its web site as the funeral director. The funeral home says he has "more than 40 years' experience in funeral service."

So while a funeral home claims Reed has acted as its funeral director, he has also been employed as a clerk at a local public hospital where his brother had a questionable legal arrangement for more than 15 years.

Walter Reed resigned from his side job as hospital attorney late last month. St Tammany Parish Hospital did not respond to our request for a comment on this story.

We called the funeral home Wednesday and asked for Richard Reed; they told us he wasn't in at the time.

Follow FOX 8:    

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.