David Peralta, St. Bernard Parish President, gambled campaign funds at Harrah’s New Orleans, Silver Slipper Casino, Hollywood Casino and Grand Casino Biloxi according to an indictment. The indictment was filed May 6, 2015. An East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana Grand Jury issued the indictment. Peralta faces three charges for filing false campaign financial statements and three charges of perjury regarding the misuse of campaign funds.
Assistant Attorney General, David Caldwell told media, “I think the time in Louisiana where public officials were allowed to do these things is long over. You cannot use your finances to support your gambling habit.”
The accusations against Peralta allege he failed to declare his campaign finance report properly by not including 22 different ATM withdrawals made between 2012 to 2014. These withdrawals are allegedly what he used at the casinos. The perjury charges are for the testimony he provided Wednesday regarding the misuse charges.
Peralta admitted in previous statements he did use campaign money for meals and other casino expenses, but he does not admit to using campaign funds for actual gambling.
The case is complicated from a historic standpoint with Parish President Peralta’s defense attorney calling the indictment, “a political lynching.”
Last year Peralta filed a federal civil suit against Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and others, claiming they knowingly used perjured testimony to get a grand jury to indict him on a sexual battery charge. The charge, relating to what Peralta claimed as consensual bondage sex with his then wife, was dismissed last month.
According to local reports, previous probes would continue but the current Baton Rouge case is a “separate matter.”