Audit: Lax oversight in seafood marketing campaign

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - An audit has identified a host of weaknesses in a state board's oversight of a BP-funded seafood marketing campaign after the company's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

A report released Monday by state Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera's office says the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board's former executive director approved transactions without adequate board oversight.

The audit also concluded that board's staff did not keep adequate records for the use of tickets and other merchandise associated with a $650,000 advertising agreement with the New Orleans Saints.

BP agreed to pay $30 million to fund the marketing program through the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. Ewell Smith resigned as the board's executive director in August after lawmakers placed Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne in charge of overseeing the program.

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