On June 18, 2013, the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested a former Washington Parish Jail kitchen manager for the offense Abuse of Office. Tonya Butler, 45, was released the same day on a $10,000 bond.
As the result of a continued investigation related to the original arrest, Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested Butler again on August 19 for Identity Theft, Theft by Fraud and Forgery. Bond has been set at $10,000.
Butler’s former job as supervisor over inmate labor in the jail kitchen enabled her to obtain personal information on an inmate which Butler later used to file a fraudulent income tax return in the inmate’s name, claiming the inmate had earned $43,696.00. An income tax refund in the amount of $7,662.00 was issued by the Internal Revenue Service and deposited into an account linked to Butler.
The investigation is ongoing and investigators suspect Butler could have taken advantage of other inmates under her supervision as a kitchen manager in the jail. Any former inmate who suspects he or she might have been taken advantage of is encouraged to contact Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office Captain Tommie Sorrell directly at (985) 661-2024.
Sheriff Randy Seal commented, “As I stated in June, such conduct is totally unacceptable. Any person who accepts employment with the Sheriff’s Office enters into a covenant with the Office and the citizens of Washington Parish to perform all duties in a lawful and proper manner. When any employee chooses to violate that trust, we will pursue criminal charges against that person. I once again congratulate Captain Sorrell and our fine detective division for their excellent work in this matter.”