State worker overseeing DeSoto registrar of voters' office

Published: Aug. 16, 2018 at 3:30 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2018 at 11:10 PM CDT
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(Source: KSLA News 12)
(Source: KSLA News 12)

DESOTO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - An agent with the Louisiana secretary of state's office is stationed in the DeSoto registrar of voters' office following the retirement and arrest of Deborah Stewart.

Stewart, who became head of that office Jan. 23, faces one count of identity theft after surrendering to authorities Wednesday morning.

Less than 18 hours before her arrest, the Mansfield native retired from her post as registrar.

After Stewart's arrest, KSLA Investigates went to the registrar's headquarters on Franklin Street in Mansfield, where an employee with the secretary of state's office sat behind a desk.

The state employee, who would not identify herself, would not comment beyond saying who she works for and that she is overseeing the office.

KSLA Investigates then was referred to Meg Casper Sundstrom, spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office, who said an employee was dispatched to Mansfield to help man the office until the Police Jury appoints a new registrar.

Under state law, that appointment should take place by mid- or late September.

Stewart, on the job as registrar for less than eight months, oversaw voter administration for the Mansfield mayoral race in April, in which John Mayweather defeated Thomas Jones by 160 votes.

The Mansfield Police Department is the arresting agency in the Stewart identity theft case.

The secretary of state's office tells KSLA Investigates they are cooperating with local authorities as the investigation goes forward.

In Louisiana, a person heading the registrar's office has access to a wealth of personal information as it relates to the individuals registered to vote in that parish, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers and driver's license numbers.

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