$300,000 check from Palermo part of settlement with DeRosier - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

$300,000 check from Palermo part of settlement with DeRosier

Joseph R. Palermo Jr. (KPLC Archives) Joseph R. Palermo Jr. (KPLC Archives)
CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

A Sulphur businessman has furnished a $300,000 cashier's check as part of an agreement that settles long running legal battles with the State of Louisiana and the Calcasieu District Attorney's Office.

The newly inked deal between Joe Palermo and District Attorney John DeRosier was signed May 12. DeRosier says the check has been deposited.

Palermo's most recent legal troubles with the state were under way in 2014 when search warrants were executed on various businesses as the state investigated allegations of corrupt business activities.

In 2015 a plea deal was struck between Palermo and the state which provided in part for a $1.2 million payment.  But then, according to DeRosier, Palermo didn't pay the last payment and filed lawsuits partly aimed at getting back money he previously paid.

Palermo accused the DA's office of violating the deal by continuing to investigate him.

"That is in fact not accurate, that is in fact not true," said DeRosier.

DeRosier says the lawsuits are being dismissed, and the $300,000 from Palermo completes $1.2 million in payments to the state.

"The defendant has paid the money that he was supposed to pay to this office, and the Attorney General has waived his one-third of that money and the matter is settled and will hopefully be the end of that," said DeRosier.

"Racketeering cases and cases of this nature are always difficult. They're complex," said DeRosier. "Some people would call them white collar complex crimes. We had good investigators working on this from the Attorney General's Office. We had good investigators working on this from Louisiana State Police. And it took this combined effort to make this happen," said DeRosier.

DeRosier is pleased to resolve the matter.

"It's significant in that this is one of the largest forfeitures that we've ever had in this parish, and it lends credibility to the criminal justice system.  No one has too much money or too much influence to be prosecuted if they break the law."

DeRosier says the payments have been used partly to cover the costs of the investigation which he says ran hundreds of thousands of dollars. He says the rest will be used to help fund the criminal justice system.

Calls were made to Palermo attorney Karl Koch but have not been returned.

DeRosier says he cannot explain the actions of Attorney General Jeff Landry in waiving the office's $270,000 share.

We have contacted Landry's office and have not yet heard back.

Copyright 2017 KPLC All rights reserved  

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