Sources: WBR sheriff's office employee took cash for ticket but never cleared it
PORT ALLEN - A West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office employee who admitted to stealing tens of thousands of dollars remains on paid leave and there are new details about the scheme.
Sources told the WBRZ Investigative Unit in at least one instance, an individual received a traffic ticket and paid for it in cash. Problem is, it was never cleared out of the system. That individual got into legal trouble where the outstanding ticket was discovered. That person was able to produce receipts where cash was paid to settle the ticket. Mandy Miller's name was on it.
Multiple deputies talking to WBRZ on condition of anonymity said Sheriff Mike Cazes is making the entire office look bad by keeping a confessed thief on the payroll.
"It aggravates everyone to no doubt," one deputy told WBRZ. "They are looking for a scapegoat to turn the attention around. This department is famous for that."
Since the allegations broke, Sheriff Mike Cazes has refused to do any on-camera interviews to let the public know what's going on in his office. Meanwhile, employees in his office are demoralized that he has continued to leave Miller on the payroll after she confessed to stealing.
"This is scary and bewildering," a deputy said. "Everyone is of the same opinion. Anyone else would have been fired a long time ago."
LSU Law Professor Ken Levy is perplexed by Sheriff Mike Cazes' actions.
"If it was perfectly on the up and up and perfectly appropriate for him to continue to paying Ms. Miller, I would think he would have told us by now."
That is not the only controversy at the department. Many workers are upset after the WBRZ Investigative Unit published her salary. Miller was earning more than $72,000 to process traffic tickets — much more than the average road deputies make who put their lives on the line each day for public safety.
"Regarding her salary, they are all in shock to say the least," the deputy said.
State Police and the Legislative Auditor told us their investigations remain ongoing. As of Tuesday, Miller has not been charged with a crime.
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