NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - In a newly released audit, Louisiana’s legislative auditor points to examples of state troopers possibly committing payroll fraud, something already uncovered in Lee Zurik’s State of Unrest investigative series.
The legislative auditor highlights the April 30 arrests of two current and two former Louisiana State Police troopers. The charges against them were the result of our investigations, which used hundreds of hours of video surveillance to expose troopers being paid for work they did not perform.
The troopers were arrested because of falsified time sheets related to the LACE program. That’s a ticket-writing operation where local district attorneys paid state troopers overtime for speeding enforcement to generate revenue for jurisdictions.
Our investigation revealed that three state troopers were earning more than $200,000 a year. And we found Trooper Daryl Thomas was the highest-paid law enforcer in the state, making $240,000 a year, more than the vice president of the United States.
The audit says the charges against the troopers are still under investigation, and the amount overpaid has not yet been determined.
In a letter responding to the audit findings, State Police Deputy Superintendent. Lt. Colonel Jason Starnes writes, “due to ongoing investigations we cannot comment specifically on these cases. It is important to note that DPS management has been proactive in initiating investigations and/or internal audits when made aware of concerns as well as reviewing policies and procedures on a continual basis.”