THE INVESTIGATORS: More irregularities discovered amid investigation into former Baker fire chief
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - He is already facing some serious allegations but detectives with Louisiana State Police are now working to determine whether former Baker Fire Chief Christopher Hunt stole more money from taxpayers.
Just days after former Hunt resigned after being caught up in allegations that he stole tens of thousands in taxpayer money through payroll fraud, the 9News Investigators have learned state investigators believe it’s possible he may have stolen even more money. A warrant shows the former chief claimed more than 300 hours of overtime between January and August 2021, getting paid roughly $22,000.
“He used a computer software program to manipulate the actual overtime codes that he was working or that he did not work and that’s how we was able to claim the extra hours,” said Taylor Scrantz, LSP spokesman.
A source close to the case tells the 9News Investigators LSP is currently combing through those timesheets after identifying even more irregularities. WAFB’s Scottie Hunter did ask a representative with LSP if their newest review could extend beyond the initial 8-month time frame but they said that is part of the ongoing investigation. When asked about the allegations last week, Baker City Attorney Kenneth Fabre said they are working with police and do plan to get the money back.
“If a crime was committed then money was stolen from the city of Baker. We intend to get it back,” said Fabre.
Hunt has been under investigation since October when troopers were tipped off about the alleged payroll fraud. Through their work, detectives say they determined Hunt rigged his timesheets using computer-based software, making changes in the system which allowed him to be paid for hours he did not work. Hunt took a leave of absence back in October after he found out he was being investigated. He resigned just days before turning himself into police.
It’s unclear how long the current LSP review of those timesheets will take. Once it’s complete, everything will be turned over to the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office.
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