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March 13, 2021 |

The St. Landry Parish Animal Control Center’s former director has been arrested, booked on theft charges and malfeasance in office Friday.

Stacey Alleman McKnight, who was the director from February 3, 2015, to March 8, 2020, has been charged with 3 counts of theft of livestock by the Louisiana Livestock Brand Commission, and eight counts of theft, one count of injuring public records, and one count of malfeasance in office by the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office after an investigation began looking into missing horses at the Animal Control Center.

“After taking office in August 2020 to fill the parish president’s position, I asked the sheriff’s department to start looking into the missing livestock at the parish’s animal control center,” said Jessie Bellard. “Theft and malfeasances cannot be overlooked or ignored in government. St. Landry Parish Government will not tolerate this type of behavior.”

The investigation discovered that three horses, files, and equipment from the animal control facility in Opelousas were missing and later found at Alleman’s home in Ethel, Louisiana.

Bellard added that parish employees would be held accountable for any transgressions.

“If we learn of any alleged criminal activity by parish employees, we will investigate and prosecute if need be,” said Bellard. “Citizens put their trust in us and rely on us to make sound and appropriate decisions on their behalf. For this parish to succeed, we must retain the trust of our citizens by doing the right thing and stopping those that don’t.”

On March 12, 2021, McKnight turned herself in at the St. Landry Parish Jail.

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