Former Tax Assessor Richard Cole Gets Probation, Avoids Jail
Former Calcasieu Parish Tax Assessor Richard Cole will walk away with three years of active supervised probation after he was sentenced on charges of malfeasance in office today, according to a press release from the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office.Investigators found that $48,000 of personal expenses were charged to his office credit card during his administration. Another $4,000 was reportedly taken for a conference he wound up not attending. Also uncovered by the audit was a $2,000-a-month lease of a vehicle for nearly two years. Cole was indicted in October 2010 after an audit showed the fiscal discrepancies. He stepped down from his post in January of this year and pled guilty in September.
First Assistant District Attorney Cynthia Killingsworth prosecuted the case. Judge D. Kent Savoie deferred imposition of any sentence and sentenced Cole to probation with special conditions -- which were not disclosed in the press release.