OMV worker in Hammond booked on felony theft, malfeasance

State Police detectives on Tuesday arrested an employee of the state Office of Motor Vehicles in Hammond on counts of felony theft and malfeasance in office.

An audit conducted by OMV found that during a nearly two-year period Gezelle Y. Buchanan, 46, of Pine Grove, manipulated the agency’s computer databases to show that insurance fee payments were made, but she kept more than $15,000 of the money for herself, Trooper First Class Jared L. Sandifer said in a news release.

Part of Buchanan’s duties with OMV included clearing insurance flags from customers’ records. In order to do so, she was required to collect fees from customers and to document in the appropriate OMV databases that those fees were paid, said Sandifer, a State Police spokesman.

After an arrest warrant was obtained through the 21st Judicial District Court, Buchanan was placed under arrest and booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Prison, Sandifer said.