Orleans Sheriff's Office Supplemental Pay Practices, Off-Duty Detail Program,
Project Construction Process Questioned
The Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office (OPSO) paid more than $1 million in supplemental pay to employees who may not have been eligible to receive it, the Legislative Auditor said in a report released today.
State law prohibits sheriff’s office employees who were hired after March 31, 1986, and who primarily perform purely clerical or non-enforcement duties, from receiving supplemental pay. The investigative audit identified 56 employees who received supplemental pay but did not appear to be eligible, the state auditor said.
In addition, auditors found that a deputy sheriff who organized off-duty details may have violated state law by operating a private security business. Between March 2009 and March 2015, the deputy sheriff’s security business was paid more than $2 million to provide off-duty details using OPSO deputies and others. However, auditors determined that the deputy inflated invoices for his security business and billed customers more than $78,000 for services that were not provided.
The audit also found that 16 OPSO deputies worked off-duty details during their regularly scheduled work hours.
The OPSO also failed to follow public bid law for a jail renovation project. Auditors found that the Sheriff’s Office failed to publicly advertise the project as required, used an unlicensed contractor, allowed work to be performed without a written contract, and appeared to have paid for materials that did not meet the bid specifications.
In response, an attorney for the Orleans Parish Sheriff disagreed that any of the employees who received supplemental pay were ineligible and declined to discuss the report’s findings related to the deputy sheriff’s security business or the off-duty detail program. The attorney also said that the sheriff has made changes in the office’s project construction process to address the issues raised in the audit report.
For more information contact:
Daryl G. Purpera, CPA, CFE