Archives: February2013

Two men booked with negligent homicide for not reporting for hours that a third man who later died was suffering an apparent overdose in their residence

Posted: February 4th, 2013 | Filed under: News Releases

  Gregg Sampson Andrew Brady

Gregg Sampson                                                   Andrew Brady

Two men who lived in Chalmette in December when a third man they knew died in their residence of an apparent drug overdose were booked with negligent homicide for not reporting for hours the person was in distress, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Andrew Brady, 22, and Gregg Sampson, 52, have been jailed in St. Bernard Parish Prison since sheriff’s detectives arrested them Jan. 31, the sheriff said. Brady was also booked with a burglary count unrelated to the Dec. 10 incident involving the negligent homicide charges they face.

They knew the man who died was impaired but instead of calling authorities when he began overdosing in their residence in the 3600 block of Delambert Street in Chalmette, Brady and Sampson put him in a shower to try to revive him, Sheriff Pohlmann said. Then they placed him on a couch and went to sleep themselves. Hours later when Brady awoke to see about his dogs and found the man they knew unresponsive, he summoned Sampson and called authorities for help, the sheriff said.

Their actions in not calling earlier and leaving the man unattended on a sofa were negligent, Sheriff Pohlmann said. A judge issued arrest warrants for Brady and Sampson in late January, after they had moved from the residence where the incident happened.

They were picked up, Sampson in Chalmette and Brady in Tangipahoa Parish, and booked in St. Bernard with negligent homicide, which carries a maximum 5-year prison sentence if convicted.

Brady is being held in lieu of $65,000 bond and Sampson in lieu of $50,000 bond.

The name of the man who died hasn’t been released by the Sheriff’s Office. The Orleans Parish coroner’s office, which performed the autopsy, said his death was consistent with a drug overdose.

Brady and Sampson called the Sheriff’s Office after 3 a.m. last Dec. 10 to ask for medical assistance at their residence, the sheriff said.

A man was found lying on his back on a sofa, unresponsive, and despite medical personel working on him they were unable to save his life and he was pronounced dead by Coroner Dr. Bryan Bertucci.

When first interviewed by the Sheriff’s Office, Brady and Sampson said the man they knew arrived at their residence in an intoxicated state, went to sleep, and Brady found him unresponsive after 3 a,m, and they called 911.

In subsequent interviews they acknowledged they realized the man was overdosing after he got to their residence and put him in a cold shower, which seemed to revive him, and he was placed on a sofa and covered, where he went to sleep.

Both also said Brady later woke at 3 a.m. and found the man wasn’t breathing and then they called for help, the sheriff said.

Knights of Nemesis parades in Chalmette under perfect skies

Posted: February 4th, 2013 | Filed under: Announcements, In the Community, News Releases


Nemesis2013-001 Nemesis2013-014

Weather conditions couldn’t have been better as the Knights of Nemesis paraded in Chalmette on Saturday, Feb. 2, bringing out a large crowd. Sheriff’s Office deputies patrolled the route and was represnted in the prade, includig by Sheriff James Pohlmann, D.A.R.E. officers Lt. Lisa Jackson and Sgt. Darrin Miller and McGruff the Crime Dog, portrayed by Greer Cuccia of the Sheriff’s Office. Shown, parade-watchers raise their hands in hopes of throws from a Nemesis float, Sheriff Pohlmann waves at people, Chalmette High marchers entertain the crowd and sheriff’s deputies Det. Sgt. Donald Johnson, Det. Sgt. Steve Guillot and Det. Sgt. Anthony Bruscato at an intersection as the parade approaches.

Six sheriff’s deputies from the Bomb Squad and Traffic Division participated in Super Bowl security functions

Posted: February 1st, 2013 | Filed under: Announcements, News Releases, SBSO News

St. Bernard Parish’s Sheriff Office has had a role in the Super Bowl played in New Orleans.

Six sheriff’s deputies, two from the Bomb Squad and four from the Traffic Division, took part in Super Bowl functions for the big game, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Sgt. Chris Scheeler and Sgt. Stephen Ingargiola, who handle Bomb Squad duties as well as work in the Patrol Division of the Sheriff’s Office, worked with the FBI as part of security for the game between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. The Bomb Squad comes under the command of Maj. Mark Poche.

From the Traffic Division, Lt. Mike Ingargiola, Lt. Brent Bourgeois, Cpl. Terry Meyer and Dep. Tommy Duplessis were part of motorcycle escorts with the New Orleans Police Department. Capt. Walter Dornan heads the Traffic Division.

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office to seek 15-mill property tax increase in April 6 election after Sheriff Pohlmann has already cut $2.5 million from budget including reduction of 50 employees

Posted: February 1st, 2013 | Filed under: Announcements, In the Community, News Releases, SBSO News

St. Bernard Parish Sheriff James Pohlmann said his department will seek a 15-mill property tax increase in an April 6 election because, like numerous other state and local governments in recent years the Sheriff’s Office has felt the effects of a national economic downturn.

And in St. Bernard, it has been made worse by Hurricane Katrina’s lingering toll on the parish’s tax base which hasn’t recovered sufficiently to fund the operations of government agencies, the sheriff said.

The 15 mills would bring in an estimated $4.5 million a year for 10 years, when the tax would expire.

Based on a home valued at $150,000, with a homestead exemption, the tax would cost an owner less than $10 a month, the sheriff said.

He said the budget had been based before the hurricane on taxes brought in by a population of 68,000 as well as transient population of several thousand more each week, all of which has decreased by almost half since the storm.

Sheriff Pohlmann said that as he looked ahead to taking office last July 1, he made deep cuts to the Sheriff’s Office budget, saving the department a projected $2.5 million for his first year, including reducing payroll by 50 employees.

Despite those reductions and continuing cost-saving changes, he said, the department still faces a large deficit because parish sales tax income is showing little or no improvement. Meanwhile, federal money made available after Hurricane Katrina has run out and temporary sales tax gains made after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico spurred extra spending have also ended, he said.

“And you can’t forget that massive federal levee construction, street repair work, foundation removal and sidewalk repair in St. Bernard after Katrina brought large amounts of money into this parish but have now dried up,” Sheriff Pohlmann said.

Experts believe “the sales tax income so needed for us to operate on has leveled off now to its true picture and that is what we will have for the forseeable future,’’ the sheriff said.

In response, the Sheriff’s Office will seek a 15-mill property tax increase from residents in an April 6 election in order to balance its budget and “keep St. Bernard safe into the future,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.

The 15 mills would bring in an estimated $4.5 million a year for 10 years, when the tax would expire.

Based on a home valued at $150,000, with a homestead exemption, the tax would cost an owner less than $10 a month, the sheriff said.

“I have cut the budget in many ways and have reduced the number of employees from 315 in January 2012 to 265, the lowest number in many years,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. By comparison, there were 380 sheriff’s employees before Hurricane Katrina.

Total reductions in the sheriff’s budget for his first year in office, from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013, are projected at $2.5 million.

“It would be difficult to cut the number of employees further without jeopardizing the Sheriff’s Office’s ability to keep St. Bernard safe, our Number 1 responsibility,’’ he said.

“Regardless of cuts, the fact is we are still living with a significantly lower tax base in this parish that was brought on by Hurricane Katrina more than 7 years ago,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.

“We have about 38,000 residents compared to the 68,000 here before the storm,’’ the sheriff said. “While some new businesses have come to the parish, we have also lost several large supermarkets and other retail outlets which didn’t return after Katrina, ones that helped bring in sales tax needed to run government agencies. Our parish economy is smaller, leaving less tax money to work with.’’

“And despite a smaller population we are handling almost as many calls for service each year as before the storm,” the sheriff said, “making nearly as many arrests, running an adult prison at near capacity and have a juvvenile detention center we must keep open because there has be a place to hold juvenile offenders.”

Sheriff Pohlmann said, “We have determined, after consulting experts including accountants, economists and other Louisiana sheriffs, that the best way to eliminate the deficit and allow the Sheriff’s Office a revenue source that provides the current high level of services is a 15-mill property tax.’’

“It would allow us to fill shortages in critical enforcement personnel, maintain our vehicle fleet, maintain and improve our information technology division and operate and staff two sub-stations that will re-open at our parish line with New Orleans,’’ he said. Rising insurance costs could also be dealt with.

Previous sheriff’s budgets since Katrina haven’t accounted for staffing the two new sub-stations that will be coming back at the parish line on St. Claude Avenue and Judge Perez Drive. “Their presence in the past were one of our most effective crime-fighting strategies,’’ the sheriff said of the sub-stations.

“We have responded to a money crunch in many ways,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said. “I put a hiring freeze in place by the end of 2011 after I was elected sheriff that fall but was still six months from taking office.”

No new jobs have been added and a number of people have been transferred from one division to another to fill in personnel gaps, he said.

“We have also instituted changes in many other areas,’’ the sheriff said, “including a major overhaul of the policy on take-home department vehicles, including mandating deputies must live in the parish to be eligible for that. No vehicle is supposed to be taken overnight outside this parish.”

“Before I took office we overhauled our rank structure, reducing the rank of a number of people, which also achieved a savings in salaries,’’ the sheriff said. The Sheriff’s Office has also made other cost-saving changes including ending some professional services contracts and making cuts of in cell phone and land line expenses that will save about $90,000 a year.

“Remember, St. Bernard remains the safest parish in the New Orleans area and one of the safest in the state,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said.

“If a resident or a business needing service calls us we have an excellent response time, particularly for any emergency. That has always been what we are known for,’’ the sheriff said.

“And I believe we have the best qualified and best trained personnel we have ever had,’’ he said.

“But we need to prepare for the future. To continue to do the things that keeps this parish safe we need the money which makes it possible,’’ Sheriff Pohlmann said