Chitimacha Chairman Arrested For Felony Theft

O'Neil Darden Jr., tribal council chairman of the Chitimacha tribe, recently was arrested and charged with a count of felony theft for conspiring with senior casino employees to receive an annual bonus, although he no longer was employed at the tribe's Cypress Bayou Casino in Charenton, Louisiana.

Chitimacha Tribal Council Chairman O’Neil Darden Jr. recently was arrested and surrendered to the Louisiana State Police on a charge of felony theft. Darden, a former employee at the tribe’s Cypress Bayou Casino in Charenton, Louisiana, was accused of conspiring with senior casino employees so he could receive thousands of dollars in annual bonus money, according to the police report.

An investigation led to the arrests in February of Anthony Patrone, the casino’s general manager, and Montie Spivey, its chief financial officer, who were booked on counts of felony theft, computer fraud and obstruction of justice. State police said Patrone and Spivey instructed the casino’s human resources department to list Darden as an active employee after he was no longer working there so he could receive an annual bonus.

“The complaint alleged the manipulation of the casino’s employee and payroll databases that resulted in Darden receiving a several thousand dollar annual bonus that he was not entitled to. The scheme was facilitated by Patrone and Spivey, “the State Police said in a release, adding, “The Chitimacha Tribal government, including its gaming commission, acted quickly and prudently in dealing with this highly sensitive matter. It commenced immediate steps to assure that the absolute integrity of its operations was and is maintained.”

Darden had been suspended from his council duties since the February arrests. He posted a $5,000 bond and was released from the St. Mary Parish jail following his arrest.

The case will now go to attorneys for the state for possible prosecution.