The state Legislative Auditor’s Office launches an investigation into the travel spending of Louisiana State Police. The inquiry comes amid an ongoing investigation into the agency by the Governor’s Office. Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera hopes this probe will lead to policy changes in the department.
“What we’d like to do is go in and help the State Police build internal controls and policies and procedures so that this type of issue doesn’t happen in the future,” Purpera said.
LSP is under scrutiny after four troopers made stops in Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon on their way to a training conference in San Diego. Reports also indicate at least one trooper may have received overtime pay while on the trip. Purpera says the goal of the investigation is to uncover the truth.
“I totally believe in transparency and accountability, and so we need to make sure the records reflect exactly what actually transpired,” Purpera said.
LSP is conducting their own internal investigation into the side trips and possible overtime pay. State Police Col. Mike Edmonson hopes the findings of all these probes can be turned into new policy and accountability practices.
“Anytime they can help a state agency by looking at their protocol and the guidance they have on any area within a department, that’s a good thing, and I certainly welcome that,” Edmonson said.
The results from State Police’s own investigation are expected to be available in the coming weeks. Edmonson is still at the helm of LSP, despite rumors he would step down amid ongoing investigations into his department by multiple agencies. The Superintendent says he has no plans to vacate his position.
“I have not yet offered my retirement. I’ve had 32 years in the service, 9 and a half years as Colonel, so certainly the longest serving Colonel ever. But I am still running State Police,” Edmonson said.