Happening Today: St. Bernard Hospital audit finds possible misspent public money

St. Bernard Hospital audit finds possible misspent public money

CHALMETTE, LA (WVUE) - A newly released legislative audit found possible misspending of public money at the St. Bernard Parish Hospital.

The audit found the St. Bernard Hospital Foundation and the hospital's service district spent $97,000 of public money on things like Christmas parties, gifts, and employee dinners.

Charles Lindell, the hospital CEO and Wayne Landry, the former volunteer executive director are named in the report.

According to the auditor, they both had credit cards.

The auditor found 22 of the 98 credit card purchases made did not include receipts detailing what was purchased, which may violate the state records retention law.

The report also found money was spent on Christmas parties at the Windsor Court and Pat O's on the river.

Meals were purchased at Ruth's Chris and Besh steakhouse.

Last month, Landry spoke to Fox 8 about a grand jury investigation into the hospital.

He admitted he spent money to recruit and keep doctors at the facility.

Fox 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti said there are different standards between the public and private sectors when it comes to spending money.

"Many times when you are used to doing things in the private sector, meaning entertaining people, taking them out for dinners, and things like that. Then you get into the public sector there are certain things you can't do and sometimes people don't make that transition appropriately and that's what can get you into trouble," Raspanti said.

The report also says work was wasted because records of meetings and other documents weren't provided in a timely manner to the legislative auditor.

The legislative auditor issued several recommendations, including asking that anyone with use of a hospital credit card turn in receipts for those purchases and adopt a policy that states when the purchase of meals at restaurants is appropriate.

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