Investigative Audit Finds Numerous Problems with Operations at Angola
An investigative audit of operations at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola found several potential violations of state law, the state Constitution, and Department of Public Safety and Corrections’ policies, the Legislative Auditor said in a report released today.
Auditors found that three employees performed work on former Warden Burl Cain’s personal residence in Baton Rouge without taking leave, which is a violation of department policies and state law. In addition, Angola’s Prison Enterprises facility was used to refurbish the iron gates from the driveway to Cain’s personal residence, but no records of a work order or of any payment were found.
An examination of the prison’s records did show, however, that $27,520 in public money was spent between January 2009 and August 2015 on appliances and furnishings for the Warden’s house at the prison. Although Department of Corrections’ policy allows certain Angola employees to live on the prison grounds, there is no provision that the state pay for appliances or furnishings for the houses.
Auditors also found that an estimated $17,474 in lodging and meals were provided free of charge to some of Cain’s immediate and extended family members who stayed overnight at Angola. Because no apparent public purpose for the stays was found, the lodging and meals could be considered a donation of public funds and therefore a violation of the state Constitution and state law. Among those who stayed over at the prison were former Warden Cain’s sons, Nathan Cain and Marshall Cain; his daughter, Amanda Cain Smith; his brother, Alton Cain; and his cousin, Mary Cain.
In addition, auditors said that nearly $6.3 million in money generated by the Angola Prison Rodeo between January 2014 and December 2015 was not deposited with the State Treasury or included in the Department of Corrections’ budget, which is required by the state Constitution and state law. Auditors also found that the Angola Prison Rodeo Committee improperly donated $67,620 to the Louisiana State Penitentiary Museum Foundation to buy a bus. The bus was used jointly by the Museum Foundation and the prison for tours. However, because there was no agreement between the two entities to show that the prison received a benefit or value equivalent to the donated funds, the transaction could be considered a donation of public funds, which would violate provisions in the state Constitution.
Auditors also looked at the Angola Employee Recreation Committee and found that it was using the prison’s facilities without paying any fees or having a written contract in place, which may be a violation of the state Constitution. Auditors found as well that the former secretary/treasurer of the Committee made cash withdrawals and used the organization’s debit card to make personal purchases and additional cash withdrawals totaling $101,044 between April 2009 and May 2016.
In addition, between April 2010 and October 2015, $27,918 in rodeo concession sales revenue was never deposited into the Committee’s credit union account.
The audit showed, too, that the prison’s assistant fire chief used the Angola Hook and Ladder Club debit card to make $4,217 in purchases between May 2013 and May 2016, of which $2,188 were for his personal use.
For more information contact: