ATC cracks down on cell phone abuse by its agents

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control said an internal audit shows major abuse of state-issued cell phones by agents in his office.

ATC Commissioner Troy Hebert said he requested the audit of agency cell phone records after a senior agent tipped him off about potential misuse of the phones.

Hebert added the report uncovered data of agents using hundreds of minutes for personal use while on-duty and thousands of minutes when off-duty.

According to the ATC, one agent racked up 3,000 minutes of personal use on his state-issued phone. The office said 1,400 of those minutes, which is over 23 hours, were used while he was on the clock.

Records show 22 agents within ATC used 12,328 minutes, which is 205 hours, for personal use in October. Over 5,400 minutes, or 90 hours, of those personal calls happened while the agents were on the clock.

"This type of blatant abuse of taxpayer dollars will not be tolerated," Hebert said. "Rather than spending their time dealing with ATC issues, agents have decided to spend hours on personal phone calls and claiming pay from the state while doing so. Then, to make it even worse, they were using a phone paid for by the state to do it."

Below is a breakdown of minutes used in October by some agents:


Personal Calls on Duty

Total Personal Calls


1402 minutes

2998 minutes


1167 minutes

2625 minutes


581 minutes

1024 minutes                   


432 minutes

1005 minutes


363 minutes

856 minutes


355 minutes

827 minutes


334 minutes

806 minutes


231 minutes

594 minutes

Hebert said disciplinary actions are pending and he has put a stop to this type of abuse. He added the results of the audit will be sent to the legislative auditor and inspector general for possible further investigation.

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