Kinder police chief arrested

By By Doris Maricle / American Press

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.