The initial court appearance for a former deputy with the Morehouse Parish Sheriff’s Office has been rescheduled.
Chris Balsamo was set for a bond return hearing on Monday in 4th District Court. Balsamo’s attorney, Katie Balsamo of Monroe, notified the 4th District Attorney’s Office she would unable to attend the hearing, which was rescheduled for Jan. 9 by Judge Robert Johnston.
The hearing will be before Judge Scott Leehy, who set Balsamo’s bond at $2,500 after he was charged with one count of unauthorized use of a moveable following an investigation by Louisiana State Police.
Earlier this year, Sheriff Mike Tubbs asked State Police to investigate nearly $18,000 in cash that had been seized in two separate drug cases that was never deposited into accounts maintained by the District Attorney’s Office. During the course of the investigation, Balsamo admitted taking the money. Investigators also found two witnesses who said Balsamo had contacted them and asked about borrowing money to repay the missing funds.
When he resigned in 2011, Balsamo was serving as commander of the North Louisiana Drug Enforcement Bureau. He resigned after an audit found less than $500 which should have been in a safe at the NLDEB was missing.
A 14-year veteran of the MPSO, Balsamo rose to the rank of lieutenant and served as commander of the Northeast Louisiana Drug Enforcement Bureau. He resigned just over two years ago when an audit that revealed less than $500 was missing from an account used by the NLDEB to purchase drugs in criminal investigations.