A joint investigative piece by the political website LouisianaVoice and Fox8 News out of New Orleans claims the FBI has launched an inquiry into former Alcohol and Tobacco Control Commissioner Troy Hebert. The probe, the news outlets report, centers on allegations Hebert used his position to extort sex from a woman experiencing problems with ATC over a liquor license for her New Orleans restaurant.
Hebert announced his resignation Nov. 17, before the governor’s race had been decided, and left office in December.
New Orleans businessman Amer Bader, who initially told LouisianaVoice he had been visited by the FBI, told a former ATC agent he exchanged text messages with Hebert. In those texts, he accused Hebert of extorting sexual favors from a woman friend of Bader’s who was experiencing problems in licensing her restaurant with ATC. He later said it was not he who was visited by federal agents, but his friend who runs the Star Steak House on Decatur Street.
The restaurant, according to the former agent, was delinquent in paying its taxes and its license expired on May 31, 2015. Following an appearance at ATC in Baton Rouge, Hebert allegedly contacted her and offered to help, according to the source who voluntarily came forward. The two began meeting for dinner, the anonymous source told LouisianaVoice via email on Dec. 18. She said Hebert eventually took the woman to an apartment he keeps above the Copper Monkey Grill at 725 Conti St. in New Orleans where they engaged in sex.
She said the woman, whom she identified as Sarah Palmer, took photos of the interior of the apartment on her cell phone and that she also saved text messages from Hebert despite his admonition to delete the photos and texts. Those photos and text messages were eventually turned over to the FBI, the source said.
It’s a riveting piece that includes Hebert’s response to the allegations. Read more here.