I-Team: Former State Fire Marshal investigator charged

A former State Fire Marshal's Office employee is facing charges of falsifying documents related to a fire investigation.

Nunzio Marchiafava turned himself in to police Wednesday.

"It's just extremely disturbing that records were falsified in the wake of two deaths," said State Inspector General Stephen Street.

Records show that Marchiafava admits to his charge of filing false public records.

The State Inspector General launched an investigation after a deadly fire in September 2012 at the Rusty Pelican Motel in Grande Isle.  Two people perished in the fire.

Marchiafava, the former State Fire Marshal investigator, was asked to visit the motel after a neighbor complained in March 2012, alleging health and fire hazards.

Marchiafava's daily activity report showed he did go to the site for an initial visit in April.  An other report he filed indicated he made a follow-up visit to the rundown motel again the next month on May 25th.

But the State Inspector General found numerous discrepancies with that second reported visit - such as his car's odometer not matching the total mileage of the trip from New Orleans to Grand Isle, as well as cell phone records placing him in New Orleans, Not Grand Isle that day.

"In the warrant, it's made plain Mr. Marchiafava admitted to submitting false information," said Street.

In his arrest warrant, the investigator states "Nunzio Marchiafava stated he was in his New Orleans office all day on May 25, 2012."  He went on to say "Nunzio Marchiafava admitted the only time he actually went to investigate the Rusty Pelican complaint was on April 2, 2012."

"Shocking and disturbing for us to learn that one of our former employees was arrested today for actions he took while an employee of the agency," said Brant Thompson, Deputy Chief with the State Fire Marshal.

Marchiafava is out on a $10,000 bond.

The inspector general's investigation into the fire, the former investigator, as well as the state fire marshal's office is ongoing.

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