Former Jefferson Parish President and Others Sentenced in Corruption Case
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 25, 2013|
NEW ORLEANS—Aaron F. Broussard, age 64, a resident and former two-term president of Jefferson Parish, was sentenced today to 46 months by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Hayden Head from the Southern District of Texas, for his involvement in a conspiracy to commit bribery, wire fraud, and theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, announced U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente, FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Anderson, and IRS-Criminal Investigative Division Acting Special Agent in Charge Damon Rowe.
Also sentenced today were former Jefferson Parish Attorney Thomas G. Wilkinson, age 54, a resident of Gretna, and Broussard’s ex-wife, Karen Parker, age 47, a resident of Kenner. Wilkinson, who pled guilty to misprision of a felony, was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to pay $214,209.94 in restitution to Jefferson Parish. Parker, who also pled guilty to misprision of a felony, was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to pay $160,430.15 in restitution to Jefferson Parish.
Broussard was also ordered to pay $214,209.94 in restitution to Jefferson Parish and was also ordered to forfeit $280,209.94 in illegal proceeds pursuant to his plea agreement.
Broussard was sentenced for his involvement in a conspiracy with Timothy Whitmer, the former CAO of Jefferson Parish, Wilkinson, and Parker to steal taxpayer funds when he and others created a sinecure paralegal supervisor position for Parker. Broussard knowingly and illegally diverted taxpayer funds to his ex-wife in the form of her salary for over six years, when Parker did not even possess the most basic credentials or requisite experience to hold the position of paralegal supervisor and repeatedly sought to conceal the illegal nature of her employment with Jefferson Parish by having Parker transferred to the ID Management Office at the East Bank Regional Library in an effort to hide the fact that she was not working for the Parish Attorney’s Office as a paralegal supervisor and was not performing any work as a paralegal. Broussard also gave pay raises to Parish Attorney Thomas Wilkinson as a reward for private family matters and for continuing to approve annual pay raises for Parker.
In total, Broussard and Parker improperly diverted over $323,308 in salary over the period of six years.
Broussard was also sentenced for receiving numerous bribes totalling over $60,000 while parish president from William Mack in exchange for Broussard’s assistance and intervention on behalf of Mack’s company.
Speaking to today’s sentencing, United States Attorney Dana J. Boente stated, “This sad end to Aaron Broussard’s career is a self-inflicted wound resulting from his venality, corruption, and deceit. The citizens of Jefferson Parish deserved honest, effective government, and Mr. Broussard made the decision to line his own pockets. This prosecution should serve notice that this office will continue its robust and vigilant investigation of public corruption.”
Michael Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation New Orleans Field Office added, “I am very proud of the investigative and prosecution team for always keeping their eye on the ball throughout this matter, which resulted in a fair and efficient resolution of this case.”
IRS Acting Special Agent in Charge, Damon Rowe, stated, “IRS-Criminal Investigation will continue to make fighting political corruption a top priority in our office. Elected officials must realize that they are not above the law.”
The case was investigated by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division. The federal agencies were assisted by the Metropolitan Crime Commission.
The case was prosecuted by Strike Force Chief and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Klebba and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matt Chester, Daniel Friel, and Mimi Nguyen.