Former EPSO Chief Civil Deputy pleads guilty to theft
On Thursday, former Evangeline Parish Sheriff Chief Civil Deputy Bobbie Jo Fontenot appeared before 13th Judicial District Court Judge Gary Ortego to plea guilty to one count of theft with a value of more than $5,000 but not more than $25,000.
Bobbie Jo was first accused of stealing money from the EPSO back in May of 2017, when Evangeline Parish Deputy Assessor Josh Fontenot uncovered the theft during the time he and Assessor Dirk Deville assisted the sheriff in stabilizing the EPSO’s finances after it found itself in need of borrowing $1,000,000.00.
Over the period of a two week investigation in March of 2017, it was discovered that the Chief Civil Deputy, through a check substitution scheme, stole more than $13,000.00 between July 2015 and December 2016.
In exchange for her plea of guilty on June 14, 2018, the Evangeline Parish District Attorney’s Office, being represented by First Assistant District Attorney Marcus Fontenot, offered the defendant a sentence of 10 years at hard labor, with seven of those years suspended, and three years of active supervised probation upon release from prison. The agreement was allowed by the presiding judge, which is required for plea agreements.
Along with her sentence, Bobbie Jo, who was being represented by local Indigent Defender Board attorney Jacob Fusilier, was also ordered to pay an array of fines and fees including restitution in the amount that was stolen.