Has EBRP Coroner Beau Clark committed “malfeasance in office” by approving the cremating of 134 homicide victims since he took office in direct contradiction to Louisiana Revised Statute 13:5716?

EBRP Coroner Dr. Beau Clark, who was grilled on his office having approved the cremation of 134 homicide victims in East Baton Rouge Parish since he was sworn into office in apparent violation of a Louisiana statute prohibiting such cremations.

Toward the middle of this past week we at Sound Off Louisiana were provided with some pretty alarming material pertaining to East Baton Rouge Parish (EBRP) Coroner Beau Clark.  Moreover, we are disturbed by what we have been informed has been the stand of Attorney General Jeff Landry entailing the matter.

Specifically, we were first provided with the link for a forum which transpired about five days before we were contacted.  We were told the exact point to go to in the meeting, so we did, and we captured the next 3:12 of the meeting, which featured an unspecified employee of the West Baton Rouge Parish (WBRP) Coroner’s Office directly confronting Clark about his practice of cremating homicide victims in apparent violation of LA R. S. 13:5716, which specifies that when the coroner’s investigation reveals “suspicious circumstances or the reasonable probability of the commission of a crime,” the coroner “shall deny the (cremation) permit.” (Emphasis is ours).  Let’s take a look at the confrontation:

Clark is confronted about his office’s cremations of homicide victims in apparent violation of the above-cited statute prohibiting such cremations when a crime has been committed.

The statute link is provided above, but let’s force it to stare everyone (including Clark) directly in the face, shall we?:

Now, clearly “homicide” is a crime, no?  So, a homicide victim surely must meet the test of “reasonable probability” of a crime, no?  We would submit that homicide victims are evidence far beyond “reasonable probability” and represent as close to certainty of being evidence a crime has been committed as one can ever obtain in our way of thinking.

With the preceding logic in mind, the WBRP Coroner official poses the question to Clark about his acts, and he states that Clark has engaged in this practice (of cremating homicide victims) in excess of 150 times since he took office.  We sought to confirm that number, and we found it to be only slightly off.  Clark was first elected in 2011 and was sworn into office in early 2012.  The following table illustrates the number of homicide victims who were cremated in EBRP from January 1, 2009 through August 14, 2019:

By our math, the actual total of homicide victims cremated since Clark was sworn into office is 134, which we derived by simply adding the numbers from the year 2012 forward on the above table.

Now, understandably, funeral homes are going to be reluctant to discuss any coroner’s practices; however, we did obtain one instance of correspondence entailing Clark having approved a cremation, and we were also permitted to examine (though not obtain a copy of) the death certificate of that same homicide victim.

While we wish we could provide a copy of the death certificate, we can’t; however, what we can do is attest to the fact we examined the death certificate, and it is the same individual for the cremation permit notice of approval we are about to provide.  Furthermore, the manner of death was declared to be “homicide” by Clark’s office, and the specific cause of death stated on the death certificate was “multiple gunshot wounds,” and specified that the disposition of the remains was cremation.  Let’s provide the EBRP Coroner’s office’s approval of the cremation of that homicide victim (with identity of that victim and the funeral home intentionally concealed) at this time:

Notice the wording “no legal or medical reason to act otherwise…..”  Apparently, LA R. S. 13:5716 fails to meet Dr. Clark’s definition of a “legal reason to act otherwise” (i.e. deny the permit application).  For a medical doctor, Clark seems to be sorely lacking in basic common sense to us in using that wording!

What’s troubling about the video above is that, as the WBRP official indicates, Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office told him he was “wrong” regarding the cremation of homicide victims being impermissible.  The preceding statute could not possibly be clearer, so how Landry’s office could claim the WBRP official was “wrong” certainly escapes us.

Bear in mind also that, as he clearly states on the video above, the WBRP official claims it is Clark who sent the link for the news segment to Landry’s office (Clark clearly denies any knowledge of having done so on the above video).

Upon being told he was “wrong” by Landry’s office, the WBRP official sought a meeting with Landry’s office, after which Landry’s office conceded that he was and is correct about cremations being forbidden entailing homicide victims.

We’ve also been informed that Landry’s office would prefer this matter to just “go away.”

As our subscribers will recall, we formally endorsed Landry for re-election; however, we expressed frustration that material we provided to his office was not acted upon in any manner whatsoever.

In just one such instance, our material resulted in KLFY getting Landry to publicly state that an investigation by his office would ensue when (even after Lafayette Parish District Attorney Keith Stutes agreed an investigation was in order and agreed to recuse himself), in reality, Landry’s office never performed any investigation whatsoever of the matter!

Landry certainly is a great cheerleader for obtaining a conservative majority within the Louisiana Legislature, but in our opinion, his diligence toward actaully doing the job he was elected to do, especially in terms of pursuing non-headline-grabbing corruption in Louisiana, certainly leaves more than just a little to be desired!

We would have aired this matter prior to yesterday’s election; however, we did not obtain the material until the middle of last week and were already busy with other features.

In wrapping up this feature, we want to emphasize that Dr. Clark’s opponent in yesterday’s election was not responsible for any of the material we obtained, nor did he or his campaign have any knowledge that Clark would be grilled by a WBRP Coroner official at the meeting as he was in the video above.

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