Edmonson files for over $128K in retirement benefits

Edmonson files for over $128K in retirement benefits
Col. Edmonson during our interview in the French Quarter in early March. (FOX 8)
This statement from the State Police Retirement System outlines the benefits for which Edmonson has filed.
This statement from the State Police Retirement System outlines the benefits for which Edmonson has filed.

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The former head of Louisiana State Police will draw more than $128,000 a year in retirement benefits, according to a statement from the State Police Retirement System.

LSP Col. Mike Edmonson filed paperwork to begin receiving that income, following his retirement announcement on March 15. That retirement followed a Lee Zurik investigation into revelations about travel expenses incurred when Edmonson invited several other LSP employees to a police conference and award ceremony in San Diego late last year. The total cost came to about $70,000.

Four of the troopers took a side trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon on the way to San Diego, charging about $19,000 in overtime and travel expenses to the public. FOX 8 News was the first TV station to ask Edmonson about those questionable expenses; we also uncovered that Edmonson's signature was used to approve some of the expenses. He told FOX 8 that his assistant used a signature stamp on those forms, thinking they were routine expenses.

The expenses came under both news media and state scrutiny; Edmonson himself pledged an internal probe, Gov. John Bel Edwards ordered an audit by the Division of Administration, and U.S. Senator John Kennedy called for Edmonson's resignation and a legislative audit.

SPRS said this is the only information about Edmonson's retirement it can release for public information purposes.

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