The new head of the Louisiana State Police is promising to crack down on abuses outlined in a scathing legislative audit report about questionable spending practices at the LSP.
The legislative audit advisory committee heard from Colonel Kevin Reeves during a three-hour meeting late Thursday afternoon at the State Capitol.
Members of the audit committee were visibly upset by the findings of the legislative auditor.
Kenner State Representative Julie Stokes said she wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. Attorney decided to prosecute former State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson, who was the subject of much of the audit.
The audit report – outlined in great detail at the hearing points to a long list of spending irregularities.
They include: misuse of State Police assets and personnel, improper travel and meal expenditures, Colonel Edmonson living on the State Police compound without proper authorization, and the improper use of hotel rooms during Mardi Gras by Edmonson.
According to investigators, Edmonson and some of his inner circle were afforded perks and privileges that other State Police personnel didn’t get.
Besides possible ethics violations, Edmonson could face criminal charges that could include payroll fraud, malfeasance and misuse of public funds and property.
The current State Police Superintendent, Kevin Reeves, said he is already mending fences in New Orleans.
“Yesterday I addressed the New Orleans Hotel and Lodging board of directors’ membership team. I requested that meeting for two reasons, number one to personally thank them for their continued support of the troopers working in the city of New Orleans. And, number two, to reassure them that any excess or unused hotel rooms, provided to state police will be returned immediately to the properties.”
“Obviously, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of written policies with New Orleans or trips or anything else,” said Sen. Mike Walsworth, R-Monroe. “Hopefully, we had written polices or we’re going to have written policies.”
The committee requested a follow-up meeting with Reeves to get an update on departmental reforms.