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St. John corrections officer arrested, fired for investigation leak

LAPLACE — Police say one of their own illegally provided information to the public about an ongoing criminal investigation, leading to the officer’s firing and arrest.

Taronda Mitchell, a St. John the Baptist Parish corrections officer serving in the medical unit, was arrested Friday and charged with obstruction of justice, Sheriff Mike Tregre said.

Taronda Mitchell

According to Tregre, Mitchell went beyond the scope of her job to access a criminal database for information concerning an ongoing case and then turned that information over to a “citizen.”

Authorities have not elaborated on who the information was given to, but Tregre termed it an active investigation in which arrests have not been made.

“My system has an electronic crumb trail; that way we see who went inside the system and accessed information,” Tregre said. “I can track every officer in the department and see who goes into the system and what they are reading.”

Mitchell’s employment was terminated the same day she was arrested, Tregre said.

According to a release from the Sheriff’s Office, Mitchell had been a corrections officer for one year. She was booked with obstruction of justice and released from custody Friday after posting a $2,500 bond.