Former Delcambre town clerk found not guilty of stealing money
The former Delcambre clerk accused of stealing more than $30,000 from the town was found not guilty.
The jury took about 50 minutes to decide.
Lela Gayle Stelly served as Delcambre’s town clerk from 2010 to 2013. She resigned in November of 2013, amid an investigation of missing town funds. After a month’s long investigation into the matter led to the Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Office arresting Stelly. The Attorney General’s Office brought Stelly to trail this week on charges of felony theft.
Stelly took the stand Wednesday afternoon. She said that she did not take any money from the town of Delcambre.
Attorneys with the state as well as Stelly’s attorney questioned multiple witnesses on Wednesday, including former Delcambre Mayor Carol Broussard, who hired Stelly for the position of clerk, and two members of the Delcambre Board of Aldermen, Sarah Ann Trahan and Donald Martin.
The witnesses described a Board of Alderman meeting on Nov. 13, 2013, where Delcambre auditor Mike Broussard presented information about missing funds during an executive session. That part of the meeting occurred in the Mayor’s office. Mike Broussard previously found thousands of dollars not accounted for.
Carol Broussard, who lost a re-election bid last year, and the two aldermen said under oath Wednesday that Stelly offered to pay a sum of money to be able keep her job. Mike Broussard revealed a larger total, one that went above what Stelly is said to have offered to pay. Carol Broussard said that Stelly took the option to resign, rather than be terminated.
Another witness, former town tax collector, Nicole Bodin, testified on Wednesday that Stelly gave her an envelope containing $1,400 in 100-dollar bills as well as some receipts. Bodin said Stelly told her that she found the envelope in her belongings that were gathered from town hall, and it did not belong to her. Bodin then showed the envelope to Carol Broussard, who documented it. Photos of the contents were presented as evidence on Wednesday.
Stelly said during her testimony Wednesday that she found the envelope in a box of personal FEMA information. She said she returned it the day she found it.