Brusly Police Chief Jamie Whaley surrendered to West Baton Rouge authorities Thursday morning after he was accused of using a town-issued credit card to purchase gasoline for his personal vehicles.
Whaley, 36, was booked into the West Baton Rouge Parish Jail on counts of theft and malfeasance in office, according to a warrant for his arrest. He is accused of using the credit card to buy $1,120 in gasoline between Jan. 2, 2013, and Jan. 3, 2014, according to the warrant.
Whaley posted a $5,500 bail and was released from the jail Thursday afternoon.
He did not return calls Thursday seeking comment.
Brusly Mayor Joey Normand called Whaley’s arrest “unfortunate” and said he was praying for the chief’s family.
“This caught all of us off guard,” Normand said Thursday. “I’m really hoping this comes out for the best for him.”
The mayor said it’s too early to say how the council will respond to the matter.
The investigation as conducted by the state Inspector General’s Office and the FBI.
According to the arrest warrant, the police chief used his town-issued credit card to fuel his personal truck and personal boat. The evidence included a spreadsheet documenting 29 transactions over the course of a year, as well as fuel receipts signed by Whaley and multiple video recordings of Whaley fueling his truck and boat, the warrant says.
Whaley initially denied illegally using the credit card when investigators confronted him on Jan. 16, the warrant states.
Whaley told authorities “he was issued a fleet services credit card because he occasionally uses a marked police unit, is called upon to fuel generators during power outages and fuels department-owned utility vehicles used at football games and other events,” the warrant states.
However, the police chief admitted he had illegally used the credit card after he was shown the spreadsheet, receipts and video evidence tracking his use of the credit card, according to the warrant.
Whaley met with the mayor on Jan. 17 and wrote a check for $1,122.75 to pay for the alleged transactions, the warrant says.
In addition to his $37,400 annual salary, Whaley, who is serving his third term as elected police chief, receives a $1,000 monthly vehicle allowance from the town.
The warrant says Whaley, the mayor and Town Council agreed that Whaley would use his personal vehicle for police duties and the $1,000 monthly stipend was intended to cover all expenses associated with his personal vehicle—including its monthly car note, insurance, fuel and any maintenance and repairs.
Col. Richie Johnson, of the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, said Thursday the investigation is ongoing, but he could not provide further comment on the matter.
“Any time you have to arrest a law enforcement colleague it’s a sad day,” Johnson said.