A deputy sheriff for the St. Landry community who was arrested and fired earlier this month has been arrested again.
Eliot Patrick Bertrand, 37, has been charged again with theft, access device fraud, violation of public records, misconduct of office.
Earlier this month, Bertrand was charged with theft, violation of public records and misconduct. To read this story, click here.
The investigation into the latest allegations began in September. According to Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz, “On September 21, 2022, deputies from the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to a complaint of misappropriation of funds at the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office. Eliot Patrick Bertrand bought a 20 foot used horse trailer for his personal use and used purchase orders from the St. Landry Township Sheriff’s Office to finance a complete rebuild of the trailer.”
A witness stated that on April 20, 2022, Eliot Bertrand drove to a store in Lafayette in a police car and two transactions were completed. The first trip of scrap metal was taken by the St. Landry Township Sheriff’s Office and he was awarded $1,048.57. According to the scrap shop, the name on the delivery and payment transactions was Eliot Bertrand and the address used was his personal address.
On June 24, 2022, the second trip to the Lafayette Scrap store using scrap metal from the St. Landry Township Sheriff’s Office totaled $422.95. Again, the name on the delivery and payment transactions was Eliot Bertrand and the address he used was his personal address. Four (4) checks were made out to Eliot Bertrand for a total of $1,471.52. Eliot Bertrand then cashed the checks. Proceeds from the transactions were used to purchase a 2014 Big Valley horse trailer from Facebook Marketplace for $2,000.
Upon further investigation, it was discovered that on two separate occasions, Eliot Bertrand had used orders from the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office for parts to repair a vehicle for a family member totaling $737.39. The orders were falsified by destining the parts to repair a St. Landry Township Sheriff’s vehicle that had compatible interchangeable parts such as the family member’s personal vehicle. Reliable workers from the St Landry Township Sheriff’s Fleet Maintenance Office were deployed to repair the private vehicle. Eliot Bertrand then failed to obtain proper approval for the purchases under St Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office guidelines and forwarded the items to the St Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office Treasury Department for payment. The vehicle’s owner paid Eliot Bertrand between $600 and $1,000 for repairs to the vehicle that were not filed with accounts receivable.
In addition, Eliot Bertrand used numerous orders from the St. Landry Township Sheriff’s Office and trusted labor to refurbish and rebuild the 2014 Big Valley trailer. The trailer is estimated to be worth $25,000, including labor and accessories. It was also discovered that Eliot Bertrand had forged purchase orders to upgrade his personal Polaris Sport 100 ATV and used numerous St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office business accounts to purchase the parts totaling $1,905.57. Receipts of orders from both local and online Sheriff’s Department business accounts were obtained and matching items totaling $15,000 were found on the trailer and personal ATV.
On October 28, 2022, Eliot Patrick Bertrand was jailed in St. Landry Parish Jail and charged with theft of more than $25,000, fraud with access devices totaling $15,600, violating public records, and misconduct in office .
Eliot Patrick Bertrand was previously committed to St Landry Parish Jail on October 5, 2022 and charged with theft, violating public records and misconduct. He was on bail of $8,000 for those charges and was out of prison at the time of the current arrest.
Sheriff Guidroz stated, “One of the most troubling aspects of a police officer’s job is discovering personnel within your command who are against the law and against your trust. Our position is one of public trust and when we find that public trust is being violated we need to be transparent and act quickly, and in this case, as in others, we have done just that.”