Vernon Grand Jury to Hear Allegations of Police Jury Wrongdoing

LEESVILLE, La. (AP) _ After more than two years of investigation by two state agencies, a Vernon Parish grand jury will hear allegations of wrongdoing by police jurors.

Vernon Clerk of Court Willie Deon says the Louisiana Attorney General's Office has issued eight subpoenas to witnesses. State law prohibits the release of the names of those called to appear before a grand jury.

The grand jury will be impaneled Monday, and Deon says the police jury case will be the first one heard.

More than two years ago, allegations of wrongdoing were lodged against the police jury over road adoptions.

District Attorney William E- Tilley recused his office and turned the investigation over to Attorney General Charles Foti because of a conflict of interest. Tilley's office serves as the police jury's legal counsel.

The allegations of wrongdoing -- ranging from working on private property to police jurors personally directing employees -- were also turned over to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's Office.

The allegations center around work on private property, failure to prioritize capital improvement projects as required by the law, and police jurors personally directing the day-to-day operations of workers in their districts -- a throwback to the outlawed ward system.