INTERNAL AUDITOR: PERKINS “SHOULD RETURN” $2,700 TO CITY
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 … 8:49 P.M.
Leanis Steward, City of Shreveport Internal Auditor, released her expected report late today concerning Mayor Adrian Perkins’ supposed “car allowance” for 2019.
According to Steward, the investigation was triggered by “an anonymous fraud hotline tip” concerning the matter.
The two-page report addressed to City Council Chairman James Flurry summarizes the findings of the auditor’s investigation into Perkins’ receipt of $5,400 from taxpayers “as a car allowance for all of 2019.”
Based on Section 2-31 of the City Code of Ordinances, the report stresses, mayors may receive either $450 per month / $5,400 per year as an allowance for their personal vehicle OR drive a vehicle provided by the City.
Instead, Perkins was furnished a City vehicle – a 2015 Dodge Journey SUV – and demanded the payment of $5,400, too … and got it.
Incredibly, the city official in charge of keeping up with who has a take-home vehicle and how such is justified is the mayor’s own CAO (Chief Administrative Officer).
Steward writes in one paragraph that, in addition to Perkins,
“At least two other Mayoral Executive Staff did drive the (Dodge Journey) vehicle at certain points during the year. However, we are unable to determine the exact amount of other staff usage because no logs or records were maintained.”
“Because no documentary evidence was located, we were unable to establish whether the portion of the allowance received for the first six months of 2019 was appropriate.”
Too, and surprisingly, there is no mention or consideration in the report of how much of Perkins’ automobile transportation was provided in 2019 by his personal security detail in other vehicles … besides and in addition to the Dodge Journey.
In conclusion, the Auditor reports …
10. Based on our investigation, we were able to document the Mayor was assigned and used the Dodge Journey for the months of July through December 2019. We find that the issuance and receipt of the car allowance for this period was not in compliance with Section 2-31 of the Code of Ordinances, and a pro-rata share of the allowance for those months, which is $2,700, should be returned to the City.”
For complete context and details, here is the report:
City Council members with whom I have spoken are hopeful, to put it mildly, that Sheriff Steve Prator will pick up this investigation where Ms. Steward necessarily left off.
© 2020 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED