Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:59 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:59:27 GMT
A preliminary exam is underway in 14th Judicial District Court in the case of Felix Vail, accused in the 51-year-old death of his wife, Mary Horton Vail. Mary Horton Vail was found dead in October 1962More >>
A preliminary exam is underway in 14th Judicial District Court in Calcasieu in the case of Felix Vail, accused in the 51-year-old death of his wife, Mary Horton Vail.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:55 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:55:10 GMT
Jury selection is on hold in the murder trial of Jon Dickerson, after Judge Kent Savoie said he needed to see a doctor for a swollen ankle. But at last word, Savoie expects to be there in the morning.More >>
Jury selection is on hold in the murder trial of Jon Dickerson after Judge Kent Savoie said he needed to see a doctor for a swollen ankle. But at last word, Savoie expects to be there on Wednesday morning.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 6:26 PM EDT2013-06-18 22:26:58 GMT
A group dedicated to providing guidance and mentorship to local girls celebrated their first community service project on Tuesday afternoon in Lake Charles. Some young ladies from "Girlie Girls" gatheredMore >>
A group dedicated to providing guidance and mentorship to local girls celebrated their first community service project on Tuesday afternoon in Lake Charles.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 6:05 PM EDT2013-06-18 22:05:45 GMT
Nearly 7,000 marijuana plants were discovered growing in a field in western Vernon Parish, according to a news release from Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft. Craft said authorities located the plants onMore >>
Nearly 7,000 marijuana plants were discovered growing in a field in western Vernon Parish, according to a news release from Vernon Parish Sheriff Sam Craft.More >>
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On Monday, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor will make public the financial audit of the Beauregard Police Jury, for which the jury gets a grade of D. The below average grade stems from an investigative audit of a longtime employee who has now retired.
The D grade on the Police Jury's financial audit stems from activities of former public works director Elton Pickering. Among other things, the audit findings includes: Alleged improper sales and donation of police jury property, personal use of a police jury vehicle, burial of asbestos on Police Jury property and alleged violations of the state public bid law.
However, Police Jury President Biscuit Smith said when jurors became suspicious of possible wrongdoing, they called the district attorney who notified the auditor.
"As soon as we noticed that something was going on, that's why it's a D grade is because no legislative auditor found this. We found it. We wanted it cleaned up. We wanted it taken care of. Everyone worked diligently with the legislative auditors to clean up this mess," said Smith.
One allegation has to do with about $1,500 Pickering allegedly received for selling Police Jury owned timber and tires. He turned in the money four months later when the audit began.
Parish Secretary-Treasurer Tayra DeHoven said he did return the money.
"He did come in and say he had put it in the console of the truck, which is in the report, and he was out a lot during those couple of months because of health issues and he said that he forgot about it, remembered it was there and so he brought it in," said DeHoven.
DeHoven said policies and procedures are in place to assure better accountability in the future.
"We've made changes based on suggestions by the legislative auditors and our personal auditors," said DeHoven.
And she said they dispute that Pickering used his parish vehicle for personal use because he was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The audit report includes a letter from Pickering's attorney suggesting that the longtime Beauregard Parish employee did not deliberately do anything wrong and has lived a life dedicated to public service.
The Beauregard District Attorney's Office has recused itself from reviewing the auditor's findings so the report will be sent to the Louisiana Attorney General's Office.
Parish officials said within the next few weeks, they plan to advertise for a parish administrator - public works director who will replace Pickering.
For a link to the audit involving Pickering's activities, click here.