State police investigating payroll fraud claim in East Feliciana

State Police confirmed Friday that they are investigating allegations of public payroll fraud by the principal of East Feliciana Parish High School and a Clinton town alderman who works at the school.

The subjects of the investigation are East Feliciana Parish High School Principal Monique Montgomery and Clinton Alderman Lisa Davis Washington, who works as a paraprofessional at the school.

State Police Capt. Doug Cain said his agency only started looking into the matter recently and it was very early in the investigative process.

“Right now we don’t know if this is possibly something criminal, administrative or there’s nothing to it,” Cain said.

It’s unclear who originally lodged the accusations against Montgomery and Washington but East Feliciana District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla sent a letter to the State Police requesting that the state agency conduct an investigation.

D’Aquilla said in the letter that he had spoken with the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office and officials there requested the State Police’s involvement.

According to the letter, D’Aquilla wrote that it was a request “to investigate alleged public payroll fraud against a school administrator and Town of Clinton Alderman and any other criminal offenses that may have occurred at East Feliciana Parish High School.”

The letter did not elaborate on the “other criminal offenses.”

Cain and D’Aquilla would not comment about any other aspects of the investigation.

When reached for comment Friday, East Feliciana Parish Schools Superintendent Henderson Lewis would only say that “we are investigating a personnel matter.”

Montgomery declined comment when contacted about the probe Friday and Washington did not return a call to the school Friday seeking comment.

East Feliciana Parish School Board President Michael Bradford said he knew nothing about the investigation and declined comment.

Montgomery, a former principal at St. Helena Central Middle School, became principal of East Feliciana Parish High School in July 2013.

Washington has been a Clinton alderman since 2009.