Last Modified: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 3:50 PM
KINDER — Kinder Police Chief Gary Pelican was arrested Wednesday by State Police for theft over $1,500 and malfeasance charges.
Pelican, 52, is accused of using town credit cards to purchase more than $7,000 in fuel, some of which was used to fuel vehicles belonging to family members, according to State Police.
The arrest followed a two-month long State Police investigation after a routine audit found questionable fuel purchases made by the Kinder Police Department.
The investigation found that Pelican, who is serving his fourth term in office, used $7,700 of fuel during the 2012-13 fiscal year using town credit cards. While some of the fuel was for official use, much of it was placed into vehicles belonging to family members, police said.
Investigators reviewed credit card records, surveillance video and conducted interviews.
When contacted about the arrest, Kinder Mayor Estes LeDoux said he did not know any details other than that Pelican "went to Oberlin" Wednesday morning.
He said he had not been contacted by State Police, the district attorney or any other agency concerning the investigation or arrest.
As for Pelican's status, LeDoux said the Kinder City Council has "no power because he's an elected official." The town operates under the Lawrason Act.
If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison and are up to a $8,000 fine.
Following the audit's findings, the town clerk was asked to begin monitoring and maintaining controls over the fuel purchases and use of credit cards by all town personnel, including the police department.
All driver's of town vehicles are to maintain a mileage log with odometer readings at the time of fuel purchases. Management will also review the miles traveled, gallons purchased and miles per gallon dates to ensure accurate fuel usage.
Posted By: Ron Craiger On: 1/21/2014
Title: Gary Pelican
Our forefathers believed that a person was innocent until proven guilty by a jury of his/her peers. We should be careful to judge someone until a trial is had and a verdict comes in, especially those of us who live a glass house. The rocks you throw may break one of your own windows. Let’s let the system work. Then and only then will justice prevail. We all have a closet and believe me there are things keep in them other than clothes. At first blush, I think of what his wife, children and dear old mother are going through. A man who just lost his brother and mother who had lost her son recently. The hurtful things put on face book and elsewhere. I certainly will not be the one to throw the first stone. In fact, I will pray for him and his family and wait to see the outcome.
Posted By: Jim hebert On: 1/8/2014
There is a mentality that police do not have to obey
Laws put those police who committ crimes in
Jail for maximum time alliwable to stop that mentality
Posted By: Granny On: 1/8/2014
Title: Gary Pelican
Sometimes the law thinks they are above the rest. How long did this person serve the "Public"? How does he expect to teach the youth of America???