LSP refers trooper trip investigation to internal affairs - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

LSP refers trooper trip investigation to internal affairs

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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

The head of Louisiana State Police says he is referring the matter of four troopers' interstate travel for a San Diego conference to internal affairs officers.

LSP released this statement by Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson Wednesday afternoon:

The preliminary inquiry has been completed regarding the four officers who traveled to San Diego via Las Vegas in conjunction with their attendance at an international police conference. I am told that there is sufficient cause and evidence to refer the matter to Internal Affairs for a full and thorough investigation.  The case will be assigned to an Internal Affairs investigator and continue to be supervised by Major Flinchum.  I have informed the governor’s office of the preliminary findings and my intentions to pursue the administrative investigation.  It will commence immediately.

This investigation will be conducted just as every other internal investigation is conducted.  All persons involved or having knowledge of the activities will be interviewed and all available records will be examined.  At the conclusion of that investigation, we will determine what violations have occurred and decide on appropriate administrative response should sanctions be warranted.

We have already made internal changes which will prevent any recurrence of an incident such as this and will continue to make changes if we find other lapses or inconsistencies in policy.  We welcome the assistance of the Division of Administration in their review of State Police travel and I have instructed all my administrative personnel to cooperate fully.

This investigation although important must not be a distraction from the critical work ahead of us.   The men and women of the Louisiana State Police face great challenges daily to ensure the safety of Louisiana's highways and communities.  Look no further than this weekend as approximately 200 Troopers deploy to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The business of State Police goes on and the public can be assured that troopers will continue to provide professional service throughout the state.

A Lee Zurik investigation prompted questions about when Col. Edmonson knew about the side trip to Las Vegas. He told FOX 8 Tuesday that an assistant used a signature stamp to approve expense report documents linked to the four troopers' expenditures. 

Governor John Bel Edwards has ordered an investigation of the travel by the Division of Administration's auditor.

Here are links to our initial report and a Tuesday update.

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