Orleans Levee District detective arrested on accusations of payroll fraud, unworked details

Jerald Holmes, a special investigator with the Orleans Levee District police, was arrested...
Jerald Holmes, a special investigator with the Orleans Levee District police, was arrested Tuesday (Oct. 4) on allegations of public payroll fraud, theft and malfeasance in office.(Photo provided by NOPD)
Published: Oct. 5, 2022 at 3:49 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A special investigator with the Orleans Levee District police was arrested Tuesday (Oct. 4) on accusations of payroll fraud and theft, after a monthlong surveillance allegedly proved he was claiming pay for off-duty details he was not working.

Court documents show Jerald Holmes, 41, was booked with public payroll fraud, theft and malfeasance in office. The former Baton Rouge police officer was ordered released before having to appear Wednesday in Orleans Parish Magistrate Court, thanks to magistrate commissioner Dennis Moore pre-setting Holmes’ bond at $16,500.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, supervisors from the Orleans Levee District police launched an investigation and surveillance operation against Holmes last month. They said they found nine instances in September where Holmes claimed to be working paid security details for the New Orleans Yacht Club or the Lake Vista Crime Prevention District, when he actually was still at home or elsewhere.

Investigators said Holmes’ scheme first started to unravel in August, when a colleague who was working a paid security detail in the Lake Vista subdivision returned to the community center to complete his end-of-shift paperwork on Aug. 7. To his surprise, the other officer found that Holmes had come in sometime during his patrol and signed a roster indicating that he had worked an early portion of the same detail shift.

The sergeant reported the irregularity and superiors decided the next day to start surveillance of Holmes’ paid detail work.

The affidavit says they observed nine instances in September where the detective submitted payroll invoices for paid detail shifts he did not actually work. Investigators documented that during claimed detail shifts, Holmes’ police unit actually was at various locations including his residence, the Lakeview Harbor restaurant and a Taco Bell drive-through. The 32.5 hours of falsified detail work defrauded his agency of $1,392.50 in undeserved salary, investigators said.

It was not immediately known whether Holmes had been terminated from the Levee District police job he has held for more than five years. But Orleans Levee District regional director Kelli Chandler told Fox 8 that the criminal probe involves at least three other officers from the agency.

“We are cooperating fully with the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office in this matter, which involves four Orleans Levee District Police Department officers,” Chandler said in a statement. “Any Levee District officer implicated in criminal wrongdoing will be suspended from duty pending investigation and subsequent determination of the appropriate disciplinary action. Beyond that, we offer no additional comment on such pending matters.”

An online resume shows Holmes was a Baton Rouge police officer from 2006-09, then worked as a detective for the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) police from 2012-17. The resume says he started with the Levee District police in September 2017 and claims he was “assigned to the DEA as a narcotic detective.”

Holmes is due back in court Dec. 4.

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