PORT ALLEN, LA (WAFB) - A former police chief facing multiple felony charges was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay restitution after pleading no contest Thursday morning to two counts of malfeasance in office.
Ex-Brusly Police Chief Jamie Whaley entered the plea in a West Baton Rouge Parish courtroom. Judge Robin Free sentenced him to three years in prison, but suspended the jail time. He also sentenced Whaley to 42 months of probation and ordered him to pay $600 in restitution. He was also ordered to pay an additional fine of $1,200.
Initially, Whaley was charged with malfeasance in office, theft and forgery. Prosecutors said he stole seven department-issued guns and transferred them to firearms dealers. It is believed he falsified checks.
Whaley was arrested in January 2014 on theft and malfeasance charges for using a police department fuel card to put gas in his personal car. In April, he resigned and pleaded guilty to malfeasance. Then, just two months later, he was arrested again. Those charges included malfeasance, theft and forgery. The charges stem from an investigation by the Louisiana Inspector General and FBI.
Whaley is accused of misappropriating seven firearms owned by the town of Brusly. Officials stated the guns are worth more than $1,000. Whaley is also suspected of stealing $600 from the police department's auxiliary account. According to an affidavit, he forged two checks.
He had no comment as he left the West Baton Rouge Parish Prison on June 11. He was released after posting a $10,000 bond and forfeiting his passport.
Whaley pleaded guilty on April 17, 2014 to one count of malfeasance in office. He was sentenced to 18 months of probation.
Whaley turned himself in to police on Jan. 23, 2014 after a joint investigation by the FBI and Louisiana Inspector General revealed he allegedly had been using his department issued gas card for personal use.
According to the IG's investigation, Whaley filled up his personal vehicle and boat on 29 separate occasions between Jan. 2, 2013 and Jan. 3, 2014. The purchases totaled $1,122.75.
Brusly Mayor Joey Normand said he is upset with the ruling and believes Whaley should have gotten a stiffer sentence. He even described Whaley in court as a wolf in sheep's clothing.
"While he was a law enforcement officer he systematically stole things from the town and guys who are protecting the people," said Normand. "He was actually a law enforcement officer doing the crimes himself."
Major Richie Johns with the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, who served as the interim police chief for a while, said he is glad that the town can now move forward.
"The citizens can move forward. And we can talk about the good things that happen in Brusly which go on every day," said Johns.