ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. — Former St. Tammany Parish Chief Deputy Tim Lentz issued a statement about his former boss a few hours after former sheriff Jack Strain was booked into the St. Tammany Parish jail on charges of serious sex crimes including rape and aggravated incest.
"I am as shocked and horrified by these allegations as anyone," he said. "I hope the system works swiftly on this case."
Lentz, who is a candidate for sheriff, running against incumbent sheriff Randy Smith, also took exception to a social media statement from Smith in which he mentions, though not by name, some of Strain's former associates.
"Not only did we assist in the criminal investigation of the former sheriff, but I was also duty-bound to determine if any of the sheriff's associates or colleagues were complicit or aware of any of the information that we learned upon investigating," said the statement from Smith. "The revelations led me to make several changes in the upper ranks of the Sheriff's Office."
Lentz referred to the statement and said that he had no knowledge of any of the allegations against Strain. "The thinly-veiled implication that I or anyone who worked under Strain had knowledge of such criminal behavior is patently offensive and absurd."