[Editor's Note: This blog has been altered to reflect a phone call made to The Ind by Shane Romero, who denies any involvement in the anonymous email circulated in reference to Iberia CAO Sally Angers.]
An anonymous email sent by a “Parish Watcher” reveals that Iberia Parish Chief Administrative Officer Sally Angers has been using her parish government email address — during business hours — to gather voter information that could assist Iberia Parish President Ernest Freyou’s re-election campaign.
A Nov. 2 email from Angers to the Iberia Parish Registrar of Voter’s Office asks what it would cost for a “listing of all registered voters, a listing of registered voters that voted in the October 22, 2011 election” and “any new voters since October 22, 2011.”
Although the Louisiana Ethics Code states that public employees politicking on behalf of a public officials is only illegal if the workers are “compelled or coerced” to do so, a 2007 Legislative Auditor’s report recommends that “the parish not allow parish employees to perform non-parish duties while on Parish time.”
The auditor’s report was in response to abuse of office allegations against former Iberia Parish President Will Langlinais, who for more than a decade required parish employees to solicit campaign donations and take time off of their parish government jobs to work Langlinais’ annual golf tournament campaign fundraiser.
“In addition to Parish employees assisting with the campaign golf tournament, Ms. Jolyn Fleming, executive secretary, performed bookkeeping duties for Mr. Langlinias’ campaign fund while on Parish time,” the auditor’s report says. “Mr. Langlinais stated that she wrote checks and completed his year-end financial statements and used his personal stationery and stamps to mail checks and letters. Mr. Langlinais stated that he was not aware that she could not perform these duties during Parish time.”
The 17-plus page audit report was made very public in 2007, as it also referenced numerous other allegations of wrongdoing by Langlinais, which eventually led to his ousting from public office and criminal convictions for malfeasance in office.
In an email sent to media outlets and other contacts this week, Shane Romero, son of Freyou's challenger, "Romo" Romero, outlines several “facts” about incumbent Freyou, including one that references Angers’ emails to the registrar of voters.
Freyou, a New Iberia businessman and former administrator under the Iberia Parish Police Jury, faces Romo at the polls Saturday in a runoff. Romo, a former police juror, sheriff and state representative, took 41.9 percent of the vote in the Oct. 22 primary, while Freyou garnered 29.9 percent. New Iberia Mayor Pro Tem Freddie Decourt came in third with 28.1 percent of the primary vote.
Angers has not responded to a request for comment. View the Angers emails requesting voter information here.