Former Leesville police chief accused of misappropriating funds

Bobby Hickman (Source: VPSO)
Bobby Hickman (Source: VPSO)

LEESVILLE, LA (KPLC) - Former Leesville Police Chief Bobby Hickman, who awaits sentencing in a federal weapons case, is now facing local charges stemming from an investigation into missing funds from the City of Leesville's D.A.R.E. program.

According to Louisiana State Police, on Tuesday, Hickman voluntarily surrendered himself to detectives at the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office on an arrest warrant issued by the 30th Judicial District Court for charges of felony theft over $1,500 and malfeasance in office.

According to Louisiana State Police, in July 2011, troopers received information in reference to the missing funds. Troopers combined with the U.S. Attorney General's Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Attorney's Office Western District, the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office and the Leesville Police Department on the investigation.

Authorities say the probe revealed that Hickman misappropriated funds from the Leesville Police Foundation, D.A.R.E. program account, while he was police chief.

Hickman awaits sentencing in federal court on a separate weapons charge.

In June, he pleaded guilty in Lake Charles to one count of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number as part of a plea agreement. Under the deal, four other weapons-related charges against him were dismissed.

Hickman's sentencing date on the charge has not been set.

Hickman was terminated as chief in January 2011 after city officials said he failed to cooperate with an internal investigation involving claims made by a former police officer, who pleaded guilty to drug charges in federal court.

Hickman was never charged in connection with the drug claims. However, during their investigation, city authorities reportedly found city-owned weapons in Hickman's possession.

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