November 29, 2018  |  01:54 pm

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith States “We Cleaned Up Quite a Mess” Referring to Past Practices  Revealed in Federal Charges of Former Deputies Under Jack Strain

In the aftermath of two former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputies being charged federally, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith made known his ill-feelings toward practices in the department that he ended.

Said Smith, “We cleaned up quite a mess.  St. Tammany taxpayers were taken advantage of to fund cozy relationships that were not in the best interest of the parish or crime fighting.”  Smith acknowledged that he and top officials under his command assisted both the FBI and the Department of Justice as they followed a trail of payouts and perks that led to federal charges against former Major Clifford "Skip" Keen and former Captain David Hanson Sr.

Smith continued, “These federal charges further validate my decision to close the work-release facility and terminate both Mr. Hanson and Mr. Keen’s employment upon becoming Sheriff.  There is zero-tolerance by this administration for fraud and corruption.  The public puts its collective confidence in us to uphold law and order, and to me that means that no one is above the law.  The investigation into the past practices of the former administration is far from over.  We will continue to assist federal authorities throughout the process to ensure that justice is served.”  

Smith, upon taking office, removed control of the office’s work-release facility from St. Tammany Workforce Solutions, LLC, and brought the management of the facility back under his department’s control.  The Sheriff continued his internal probe into the work-release program and facility developed by Strain, and eventually determined that neither the program nor the facility should continue.  That resulted in dismissal of several other deputies.  Said Smith, “This was one of the steps we took toward ending a ‘good ’ole boy network’ that wasn’t serving our parish or its people.”