St. Landry

Apr 1, 2013 6:43 PM by Chris Welty

Port Barre Taking Precautions Since Audit

The Town of Port Barre is making changes after a 2011 audit shows thousands of dollars missing.

Investigators say Jimmie "Jennie" Castille stole about 41-thousand dollars from the Port Barre Water Utility accounts. In 2012, the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office charged Castille with malfeasance in office and theft. Also, it was discovered that multiple meter deposits, receipt books and the work order registry log were missing.

"We're aware of a lot of things that we needed to implement. You get relaxed in your day to day operations and you get complacent."

Mayor Gil Savoy says it's unclear if the town will be paid back the 41-thousand dollars that was allegedly stolen. He says his office is taking big steps to prevent employee theft.

Since the 2011 audit, deposits are now made on the daily basis, security cameras were installed in key areas and coded keypads are on office doors where monetary transactions take place.

"You get close to your people and it's like a big family, but you do have to realize we have a job to do. If everyone is responsible and accountable, everything is going to work," said Savoy.

The town clerk is also working on fine tuning the Port Barre employee policy book. Mayor Savoy says the town was too relaxed before.

"That's why you've got to be alert and implement procedures and a policy manuel to make sure everything is adhered to."

The St. Landry Parish Clerk of Courts Office tells KATC, Jimmie "Jennie" Castille has a possible plea date set early next month.

If a plea deal isn't reached, jury selection could begin after that.

Chris Welty



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