13-1 vote draws ovation from those in the audience
The St. Tammany Parish Council has voted 13-1 to request the resignation of Coroner Peter Galvan as state and federal investigators look into his spending practices.
The vote drew an ovation from spectators at the council meeting Thursday night. The dissenting vote was cast by council member Steve Stefancik.
The council also approved a resolution demanding Galvan return up to $175,000 he allegedly paid himself in unused vacation and sick time, and another requesting assistance from the state Attorney General in forcing Galvan to turn over financial information from his office.
The coroner's spending practices are under investigation by the state legislative auditor and by the FBI. The feds have demanded copies of every expenditure made by the coroner since January 1, 2007, including credit card statements. They have also subpoeaned calendars for Galvan and four of his key employees.
Galvan offered his first public comment last night. He sent an email to the council that read, in part, "When I ultimately address all the issues brought forward...you and your constituents will learn how efficiently and effectively this office has been operated."
Galvan had been asked to appear before the council to answer questions but declined the invitation on the advice of his attorney.