Despite DUI arrest in government car, parish president's take-home privileges remain intact

Despite DUI arrest in government car, parish president's take-home privileges remain intact

ST. CHARLES PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Blood samples taken of St. Charles Parish President Larry Cochran the night of his DUI arrest reveal he had three painkillers in his system while behind the wheel of his parish issued vehicle, but his privileges to use that vehicle still remain.

State Police Crime Lab results showed Cochran had Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and Oxymorphone in his blood during his Sept. 2 arrest in Kenner.

St. Charles Parish policy states employees convicted of driving under the influence are considered "at risk" drivers and placed on six-months probation.

Even without a conviction, Cochran was stripped of his take-home privileges on Sept. 15, according to parish documents. However, it was only momentarily.

FOX 8 obtained a text message from Cochran's administration where Chief Administrative Officer Billy Raymond sent a text to the Parish CFO on Sept. 22 saying, "Please start the $3 charge again for Larry to drive his vehicle. He said he will start driving it today."

Despite multiple visits to Cochran's office at the St. Charles Parish courthouse, we could not find him or his parish-issued vehicle, and from Sept. 22 to Oct. 3 (when FOX 8 started asking questions about the vehicle), the administration "cannot" with certainty say where the vehicle was and if Cochran drove it.

The vehicle is currently parked outside the parish emergency operations center in Hahnville.

Cochran has not responded to any of our requests for comment since his blood results have been made public.

In the report of his Sept. 2 arrest, Kenner officers say someone noticed Cochran driving erratically and called police. Once he was pulled over, officers noted Cochran had "red and glassy" eyes, "delayed and slurred" speech and that he "swayed while standing."

The report says Cochran passed a breathalyzer but failed the field sobriety test.

Cochran denied taking any medication or narcotics prior to or while driving the vehicle, according to police.

"This is not out of the ordinary. If someone is behaving in such an erratic fashion and then you get a .000 on the blood alcohol register, common sense tells you there may be something else going on inside of his body," FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti said. "It is against the law to drive with any of these drugs or alcohol in your system to the point that it makes you unable to properly manage the vehicle."

According to the report, Cochran told officers he suffered from knee problems and kidney stones, but the report never states if one or any of the drugs were prescribed. When told he was under arrest, officers said Cochran responded, "Well I guess this means I should fill out my resignation papers."

In the report, officers wrote that Cochran did tell him he was the St. Charles Parish President and even gave one of the officers his business card.

Kenner PD investigators say they have turned over the test results to the Jefferson Parish district attorney.

Cochran has not been officially charged.

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