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Webster Parish coroner’s office under investigation

by Minden Press-Herald



An arrest has been made following the execution of a search warrant at the Webster Parish Coroner’s Office, where sheriff’s detectives seized financial records in regards to possible improper mileage billing and contractual agreements.

Glenda A. Lewis, 43, of the 6800 block of Dorcheat Road in Minden, was arrested Monday afternoon when she turned herself in to authorities. She was charged with malfeasance in office and felony theft over $1,500. Bond totaled $10,000.

District attorney Schuyler Marvin says the allegations involve mileage and other reimbursements.
“It may go further than that, but we’re looking into all that,” he said. “It’s kind of frustrating, because we’ve been here before.”

Sheriff Gary Sexton says Lewis turned herself in at Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center without incident and has been very cooperative with authorities.

“She’s very cooperative in the case, and as long as she’s cooperating with us, we’re going to do everything in the world to cooperate with them and look at this thing with a clear and open mind,” Sexton said.

The allegations involved contractual agreements between personnel and a private company as well as possible overcharging mileage.

“The investigation showed some discrepancies in the paperwork of overbilling charges,” the sheriff said. “Whether they are intentional or unintentional, there’s still over billing charges and double billing charges. That’s the bottom line.”

He says Lewis was working for the coroner’s office and Hospice as well as other contractual agencies to do medical work and she was billing both parties for the same time. She was also billing for mileage for one entity and billing another entity for the same mileage.

“Apparently it was enough of a pattern that it showed up that it’s probably going to be questionable as to whether it was unintentional or not,” he said.

In 2012, the coroner’s office came under intense scrutiny as one of its bookkeepers embezzled nearly $80,000 from the office.

The thefts reportedly spanned more than a three-year period, from March 4, 2009 through June 15, 2012, according to the indictment. In November 2012, Lewis’ brother Glen Guin pled guilty to felony theft and malfeasance in office. He was sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to make restitution.

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