Audit reveals Orleans criminal and civil court spending



The Louisiana Legislative Audit released two reports that slam Orleans Parish civil and criminal district court judges for "improperly using public funds" on insurance benefits, and "excessive" spending on travel expenses. From January 2009 through December 2011, judges from both courts spent more than $800,000 in public funds on insurance benefits.

At Criminal District Court, the audit says "contrary to state law, from January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2011, the judges of the Court improperly used public funds totaling $637,367 to provide themselves with supplemental and additional insurance benefits."

And at civil court, “the judges ... improperly used Judicial Expense Funds monies totaling $191,073 to provide themselves with additional insurance benefits."

The Legislative audit also says criminal court "lacked adequate documentation" required for travel expenses and allowed judges to pay excessive amounts for lodging during the Summer School for Judges and the annual meeting of the State Bar Association. Civil court's travel and lodging expenses also "appear excessive" during the same trips. The report also notes that court employees were not required to document their time and attendance at work.

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