Couple faces malfeasance in office charges following audit

Couple faces malfeasance in office charges following audit
Charlotte Prothro (left) and her husband Joseph C. Prothro turned themselves in after learning a Natchitoches Parish judge issued warrants for their arrest. (NPSO)

NATCHITOCHES PARISH, LA (KSLA) - A former Natchitoches Parish Volunteer Fire Department Chief and his wife are out on bond after turning themselves in following an audit.

Joseph C. Prothro, 63, of Lena is facing two counts of malfeasance in office. His wife, Charlotte, 56, is facing one charge of malfeasance in office.

The couple turned themselves in on Thursday after hearing that authorities had issued warrants for them.

The charges stem from findings in a 2018 Louisiana Legislative Audit of Natchitoches Parish Fire District 1. The district covers Point Place, Melrose, Gorum, Cloutierville, Chopin, Marco and Janie in south Natchitoches Parish.

According to Natchitoches Parish officials, The criminal charges result from two separate incidents that occurred in 2015 and 2016 involving payments made to family members by Fire District #1 while Joseph Prothro served as the board chairman and Charlotte Prothro was the fire chief of fire protection.

Detectives with the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office reviewed several documents in connection to the investigation. The crew consulted with Natchitoches Parish District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington according to Chief Investigator Greg Dunn.

NPSO Fire District #1 now has a new Fire Chief with new board members.

Two other Fire District #1 Board Members in 2012 evaded arrest due to the statue of limitations on malfeasance in office is 4 years.

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