Taxpayers Struggle to Understand Lack of Investigation
In a bit of irony, the Caddo Commission pressed felony theft charges against a 46 year old Haughton woman for obtaining illegal money. Lisa Bain Phillips was a contract nurse who is alleged to have knowingly invoiced $39,896 that was double billed for services she provided to the Caddo Correctional Center. The sheriff’s department did an investigation and arrested her. She now finds herself housed at the facility she was working at as a nurse.
What is perfectly clear is the double standard at play. In spite of public outcry over the Caddo Commissioners self-pay scandal, the Caddo Sheriff still has not made any arrests, much less an investigation. According to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (report here), Commissioners have illegal money in their possession and have not once attempted to pay it back. Instead, the entire Commission insists upon waiting to see if they prevail in a lawsuit they are defending against in hopes to keep the money that many of them admit is questionable and sometimes infer is illegal. The Caddo Commissioners clearly take swift action when taxpayer money is taken illegally and does not somehow end up in their personal bank accounts, as Lisa Phillips sits in a prison jumpsuit with her mugshot appearing on local news networks.
Caddo Parish taxpayers may note that in this case, elected officials are not at risk of Sheriff Steve Prator’s office investigating them for theft against the Parish. Caddo Parish taxpayers are not afforded the same luxury. It is worth noting that an investigation into the Commissioners’ self-pay is all in the public record, therefore much easier to look into, while an investigation into Lisa Phillips is not. Questions of political protection of the Commissioners are being furthered as a local female attorney received a call from a sheriff’s investigator this week regarding an off-color comment she made about Caddo Commissioner Matthew Linn on social media. The attorney, who remains unnamed for fear of reprisal, believes the attempt to investigate her social media comment was to intimidate her for vocally opposing Linn and other Commissioners’ self-pay as illegal.
To date, there is no word on why any investigation has not been turned over to the Caddo District Attorney in the Commission’s self-pay scandal. The Caddo Sheriff’s office has not returned email questions to RealShreveport.com regarding the issue since Sunday, January 17th.