3 DeSoto sheriff's deputies leave amid LACE investigation

3 deputies leave DeSoto Sheriff's Office amid LACE investigation

DESOTO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Three DeSoto Parish sheriff's deputies have either resigned or left the department in connection with the controversial overtime ticket-writing program, called Local Agency Compensated Enforcement, commonly referred to as LACE.

The three deputies, who have yet to be identified, were originally placed on administrative leave late last Month, as the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's office continued its months-long investigative audit into the administration of the LACE program in DeSoto Parish.

DeSoto Parish Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle has also launched an internal investigation regarding potential payroll fraud connected to LACE.

The department's internal investigation also uncovered a fourth individual, who possibly profited from abusing the LACE program.  However, that person, a former deputy, was terminated prior to the internal affairs investigation for unknown reasons.

Statewide the LACE program came under fire, following a series of investigative reports by Lee Zurik, at our sister station WVUE in New Orleans, uncovering possible payroll fraud by three Louisiana State Troopers, who allegedly padded their overtime pay through the loosely supervised ticket-writing program.

Operation of the overtime ticket-writing program in DeSoto Parish was suspended in June 2017.

There's no word whether any of the deputies who resigned will face criminal charges, although Sheriff Arbuckle says he has asked outside law enforcement agencies to conduct independent investigations.

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