Ex-drainage official pleads guilty to malfeasance

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA. (KPLC) - The former foreman for the Drainage District 8 in the Moss Bluff area has pleaded guilty to malfeasance in office.

Brian Benoit pleaded guilty to one count of malfeasance. The state agreed to dismiss thirteen others, along with charges of payroll fraud, filing false public records and felony theft.

He was sentenced to three years on probation and fined $2500 plus court costs.

Prosecutor Matt Derbes with the Louisiana Attorney General's Office says it sends a message that those in positions of public trust who break the law not only face losing their jobs but could wind up with a felony conviction on their record.

Charges against two other employees were dismissed because prosecutors say the evidence showed they were following their boss's orders.

As well, the state has settled the case against Benoit's son, originally charged with intimidating witnesses after he allegedly threatened two whistle blowers. Justin Benoit was allowed to plead to disturbing the peace, a misdemeanor. He'll be on probation and must get help for anger management.

Copyright 2009 KPLC. All rights reserved.