Kinder Police Chief pleads not guilty to felony malfeasance and - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Kinder Police Chief pleads not guilty to felony malfeasance and theft

Kinder Police Chief Gary Pelican has pleaded not guilty to malfeasance in office and felony theft. The chief appeared in court Wednesday in Oberlin. 

The state attorney general's office filed a bill of information charging 10 counts of malfeasance and one count of theft over $1,500 dollars.  

According to the police investigation, Pelican filled up his personal vehicle on the tax payers dime. It's not clear how much that fuel was worth, but it's believed to be more than $1,500.

"From the audit, it's over $7,000 that he spent on gas. Now, some of that is legitimate but obviously not all of it is legitimate. Through the trial process, we'll show exactly how much that he stole, but it is an amount greater than $1,500 which is the threshold for the felony theft charge," said Assistant Attorney General Jeff Traylor.

Court records indicate the purchases were captured on video. Traylor says some fill ups were for official police business, but others were not.

"Through the evidence in the case we'll be able to show what purchases were legal and what purchases were not, and so, through the evidence we developed, we'll be able to do that," said Traylor.

Pelican had a large group of people with him, presumably, family and friends. He didn't offer a comment and he told the people with him not to talk either.

Officials at Kinder Town Hall confirm Pelican is still the police chief and still receives his salary of about $47,000 a year, and will continue to do so, unless he leaves or is convicted.

Pelican also receives $500 a month state supplemental pay.

His trial is set for February 23, 2015.  

The attorney with Pelican today did not formally enroll as counsel. John Demoruelle was suspended from practicing law for two years and then reinstated with restrictions. Demoruelle is expected to contact the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board to verify that representing Pelican won't violate the terms of his reinstatement. Demoruelle says he does not comment on pending cases, but wishes to represent Pelican for free because he's been representing that family for years.

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