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.