Zurik: Plaquemines deputy reassigned days after Fox 8 investigation

Published: May. 9, 2023 at 10:14 PM CDT
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PLAQUEMINES PARISH, La. (WVUE) - The Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office has launched an internal investigation into a frequently sanctioned deputy, just days after the deputy’s actions were highlighted in a Fox 8 investigation.

A sheriff’s office spokesman told Fox 8 on Tuesday (May 9) that Deputy Vincenzo Sainato has been reassigned pending the investigation.

Fox 8 showed that Sainato swore in an affidavit that Jared Folks was on the scene of a crash at the Parks of Plaquemines neighborhood on Super Bowl Sunday in 2022. However, Fox 8 obtained video from Folks’ Kenner office -- 23 miles away from the crash -- that showed Folks watching the Super Bowl there at the same time Sainato swore Folks was on the scene.

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Sainato’s affidavit led a judge to issue an arrest warrant for Folks. Shortly after Fox 8 started asking questions, the Plaquemines Parish District Attorney’s office dropped the charges. However, Folks still faces a civil lawsuit brought by the subdivision, which Folks’ attorney says cites several of the same false claims in Sainato’s affidavit.

Sainato has a history of misconduct on the job. In 2020 and 2021, he served five separate suspensions totaling seven days. He also lost his take-home car privileges multiple times, including once after allegedly running a red light while driving over 100 miles per hour without lights or sirens on the way to a call.

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