Peralta indicted on felony stalking charge

Sharon Schaefer, FOX 8 file photo
Sharon Schaefer, FOX 8 file photo

A grand jury has indicted St. Bernard Parish President Dave Peralta on a felony stalking charge. Bond is set at $35,000. He is required to turn himself in by Monday.

The indictment came Wednesday after Peralta's ex wife, Sharon Schaefer, had spent most of the morning testifying.

Two months ago, investigators with the state Attorney General's Office seized computers from Peralta's home and his parish president's office. Sources said the AG was looking into allegations that Peralta may have defied a court order and communicated with his ex-wife by computer.

This is Peralta's second indictment. He was indicted in April for the alleged sexual battery of Schaefer. Shorty thereafter, the St. Bernard Parish Council met and called for Peralta to step down. His attorney has said that Peralta has no plans to step aside.

After Wednesday's indictment, some council members reiterated their desire to see the president step down but admitted that they can't force him to.

However, in what is possibly a related development, Peralta on Wednesday appointed Ross Gonzales as the parish's Chief Administrative Officer. The CAO is next in line to lead parish government if something happens to the parish president.

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