AUDIT DOCUMENTS QUESTIONABLE USE OF FUNDS BY LONGTIME LSP SUPERINTENDENT
LSP Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson resigned in early 2017 in the wake of an investigation into misconduct and integrity issues surrounding his administration. In December of 2017, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor released an audit report detailing a history of Col. Edmonson’s misuse of public funds and assets. The audit acknowledged the information provided by the MCC.
GUILTY PLEAS RELATING TO A BAIL BOND SCHEME IN ORLEANS PARISH
The MCC worked with an informant to develop information about a corrupt bail bond scheme involving multiple individuals that included employees of the Orleans Parish Clerk of Court and Criminal Court. This case was referred to the FBI and their investigation resulted in the conviction of 11 individuals including Orleans Parish Criminal District Court and Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office employees and bail bondsman Rufus Johnson for their role in the bond-rigging scheme. In April of 2017, Johnson pleaded guilty in the middle of his trial. He was later sentenced to 6 years in prison, as a result of his guilty plea that came in the middle of his trial.
REED PAID WITHOUT PERFORMING SERVICES FOR CAUSEWAY COMMISSION
After receiving a complaint, the MCC alerted GNOEC General Manager Carlton Dufrechou that St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed was reporting income for legal work performed for the GNOEC. When Mr. Dufrechou confronted General Counsel J. William Becknell II (2005-2014), he admitted that “Reed believed that he had the authority to hire the attorneys for the Causeway Commission” and as such he paid Reed a portion of the legal fees for securing the appointment for Becknell. The MCC was able to confirm that Walter Reed had been receiving payments for legal work performed by Causeway legal counsel dating back to the early 90’s. In May 2014, the MCC informed the State Inspector General’s Office about Walter Reed collecting a portion of fees relating to GNOEC (“Causeway Commission”) legal work without performing any services. As a result of the investigation, the State IG determined that Mr. Reed received over $52,000 in payments from Mr. Becknell without performing any of the legal work for the GNOEC.