DA: Issues resolved in Westlake audit - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

DA: No charges sought in Westlake audit

(Source: MGN Online) (Source: MGN Online)

The Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office did not find any activities stemming from a recent state audit of Westlake's finances and practices that would warrant any "prosecutable criminal activity."

That's according to a news release from District Attorney John DeRosier.

A March audit looked at a list of possible violations in Westlake, including several possible violations of state law.

The complaints included improper use of city vehicles, improper appointment of department heads, improper compensatory leave payment and exceeding budget amounts approved by the Westlake City Council.

The most significant issues involve the expenditure of millions of city dollars on capital projects, as well as lesser amounts of money for travel and other expenses. DeRosier said the administrative issues have been resolved.

"As a result of the audit and recommendations made to the City of Westlake, procedures have been changed relative to the use of city vehicles for personal use, even when that personal use is combined with business use. Additionally, all city-owned vehicles will be "marked" as required by law. The issue of appointment of "department heads" is now resolved in that the mayor's appointees are not acting as department heads, and their salaries are within the parameters of the general budget. The major issue involving the disbursement of city funds for capital and other city projects has been reviewed by the Legislator Auditor and a certified public accountant," DeRosier said.

DeRosier said the city's Budgetary Comparison Schedule for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012 demonstrates that the total budget was $5,323,866.00, while the actual expenditures exceeded this amount by $175,266.00 (or 3.29 percent over budget). 

"All of the expenditures involved in the complaints presented to this office were contained in the Actual 2012 budget of $5,499,152.00," DeRosier said. "Under Louisiana law, though the actual dollars spent exceeded the final budget by 3.29 percent, the expenditures are not illegal because they do not constitute deficit spending of 5 percent or greater from the general fund."

You can read more about the audit HERE.

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