Kennedy suggests FOX 8 investigation proves incompetence at DPS & Corrections

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - U.S. Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana thinks FOX 8's State of Unrest investigation helps prove his point that the Department of Public Safety and Corrections is incompetent.

"They're letting out some pretty bad people," said Kennedy during a phone interview November 30. "Just look at the track record. Look at the legislative auditor's report over the last five years. Look at the number of wardens who had to resign. Look at the number of senior prison officials who have had to plead guilty and theft and God know what else. Look at the FOX 8 news story. State Police is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections."

Kennedy rails against the Department of Public Safety and Correction's early release program, saying he's scared for the safety of Louisiana citizens.

He argues our investigation highlights more of what's wrong with what he calls a Good Ole Boys Club. "The legislative auditor has written about it, time and time again about it," said Kennedy during the phone interview. "I think there were some legislators who were in good faith here. But we both know there are some legislators who will do whatever the governor tells them to do. We're not talking about a pork project, or building some arena we don't need. We're talking about people's lives and public safety."

Controversies at State Police have been frequent and recent subjects of FOX 8 investigations, including Lee Zurik's State of Unrest series on trooper timesheet discrepancies.

As for the early releases Sen. Kennedy mentioned, they were part of a statewide criminal justice overhaul approved by lawmakers last spring. Kennedy suggests the governor enlist help from local sheriffs and district attorneys to review inmates carefully before release.

Nearly 2,000 inmates have already been released.

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