CHALMETTE, La.-- Authorities in St. Bernard raided a storage facility in Chalmette, in relation to an ongoing investigation into a violation of Louisiana law: injuring public records, a potential felony.
A sergeant with the St. Bernard Sheriff's Office, who was assigned to parish government, executed the warrant on Tuesday.
'Under Louisiana law, public records are supposed to be kept safe. They're not supposed to be destroyed or removed,' said Eyewitness News legal analyst Donald 'Chick' Foret.
The St. Bernard Sheriff's Office confirmed on Thursday that the raid netted 19 boxes of parish documents, some of which were related to an ongoing U.S. Department of Justice civil rights case against the parish. A federal judge had ordered the parish to turn over those records by Thursday.
Were the documents collected, though, the originals? Taffaro's attorney, Henry Klein, said no -- that they were copies. Klein also said, before Taffaro left office, he told his staff to also scan the documents into a parish server.
'The parish has the originals,' Klein said. 'They have the paper copies, they have the hard copies and they have scanned copies.'
Klein said Taffaro wanted copies of the documents to protect himself in case of future litigation.
'Of documents that were personal to him, of documents that he needed in the future, to be able to respond to the issues that have been raised by the federal government in the Provident case and in the civil rights action case,' he said.
Yet, whether the documents were copies or not -- and what exactly was in the 19 boxes -- remains unclear.
'We have to find out if those are originals or those are copies,' Foret said.
The parish did not return our calls for comment Thursday.
The governor's office issued the following statement:
'We still have confidence in Craig and the job he's doing for the hazard mitigation program.'