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Ex-sheriff Jack Strain sentenced to 10 years, $10k fine in work release kickback scheme

In December, Strain pleaded guilty to a single count of bribery in that case.

COVINGTON, La. — Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain has been sentenced to 10 years and a $10,000 fine in the federal corruption case against him.

In December, Strain pleaded guilty to a single count of bribery in that case. He faced a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

A forfeiture hearing has been set for July 13.

Strain is already serving a life sentence after he was convicted by a St. Tammany Parish jury on multiple counts of aggravated rape and incest for abuse that spanned decades.

Strain was facing 16 federal corruption counts in a bribery and kickback scheme involving an inmate work release program he privatized as sheriff. The federal case stems from a Slidell work release site that Strain awarded a no-bid contract to a company owned by the children of two of his top deputies and friends to run. 

David Hanson Sr. and Clifford "Skip" Keen pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in federal court for allegedly funneling Strain money from the program.

The adult children of Hanson and Keen formed a company called St. Tammany Workforce Solutions LLC a few months before Strain awarded the company a no-bid contract.

A series of investigative reports by WWL-TV and The New Orleans Advocate first raised questions about the arrangement in 2013.

In the work-release program, inmates at the end of their sentences worked jobs in the community during the day and stayed at the prison-like barracks overnight.

St. Tammany Workforce Solutions received state and federal tax dollars in the form of a per diem to house the inmates and took nearly 70 percent of the inmates' pay for room and board. Court documents indicate the company made more than $1.2 million in the three years it was in operation.

 

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WWL-TV investigator Katie Moore contributed to this report.