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Another employee seeks protection from Peralta

Dave Peralta accused of harassing parish employee Dave Peralta accused of harassing parish employee
CHALMETTE, LA (WVUE) -

A second employee is filing for whistleblower protection against embattled St. Bernard Parish President Dave Peralta.

Jeffrey Brannon, the IT director for the parish, claims Peralta is harassing him because he has cooperated with the FBI and attorney general's investigation into whether or not the Peralta has operated above the law.

"There was an audit done, and there's things in the audit that are defamatory. Mr. Brannon and myself view it as harassment, and that's why the whistleblower letter was sent," Alan Bouterie, Brannon's attorney, said.

The document claims Peralta requested Brannon's personal emails and text messages and turned over Brannon's computer to the FBI, claiming it had evidence of illegal activity on it.

"There was allegations made that there was information on that computer, it was turned over to the FBI. They did an investigation, and it was returned to Mr. Brannon," Bouterie said.

Brannon isn't Bouterie's only client who is seeking whistleblower protection. Donald Bourgeois also sought protection from Peralta, claiming he was making false statements about him - even calling him profane names in front of residents.

"They have an obligation to cooperate, and they're not trying to hide anything. They're gonna answer all questions truthfully. Both of these individuals have received subpoenas to testify before the grand jury," Bouterie said, "They're gonna show up and they're gonna answer the questions truthfully and honestly."

Bouterie thinks Peralta may be harassing the men in hopes of making any possible testimony less effective.

"I think it's clear the allegations made against both Mr. Bourgeois and Mr. Brannon - it's harassment and it's defamatory and it's an attempt to attack their credibility as witnesses,” Bouterie said.

Bouterie said since the letters were filed, the work environment for both men has been calmer.

FOX 8 tried to reach Peralta and CAO Michael Gorbaty, but calls were not returned by the time of publication.

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