GRETNA, La. -- The two members of the Harvey Volunteer Fire Company No. 2 who were arrested two and a half years ago for misspending government funds were back in a Jefferson Parish courthouse Thursday.
Scott Berthelot, the Harvey Volunteer Fire Company No. 2 chief, and his deputy chief, Mike Reason, left the courthouse after another delay in this long-delayed case.
They are being charged with conspiracy to commit theft for allegedly misspending thousands of dollars of Jefferson Parish funds.
It was all part of a 2011 Eyewitness Investigation where we detailed lavish trips with family members, expensive meals and jewelry.
The fire company gets nearly $3 million a year to operate from Jefferson Parish.
Reason is also charged with filing false public records.
Eyewitness News legal analyst Donald 'Chick' Foret said it's not a case you typically see at the Gretna courthouse.
'These issues are ones that you often see in federal court, very rarely see in state court, that is the alleged theft of government funds from in this case the parish of Jefferson Parish,' he said. 'But it's not a clean issue. The parish funds, as I understand it, were sent to an entity or a non-profit and the money was spent or misspent from those funds.
Our Eyewitness Investigation was in July 2011. It's been almost three full years. The arrests were in February 2012, but yet both sides will wait until September for the next move in this case.
'It looks like the case is going to trial,' Foret said. 'I don't think the case is going to be dismissed, but perhaps there are negotiations taking place concerning a possible plea bargain.'
One defense lawyer said exactly that in court, that the case could very well be resolved in some fashion before the two sides meet in court in September.
Because of scheduling problems, the two sides are expected back in court Sept. 2, the day after Labor Day.