Audit: District Attorney's office $3.2M in the red

Audit: District attorney's office $3.2M in the red

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - An annual report released Monday by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's office finds the District Attorney's office in East Baton Rouge is $3.2 million in the red. But DA Hillar Moore said the findings are not a surprise and that day-to-day operations are not affected.

The report, conducted by the independent firm Postlethwaite & Netterville, finds the office's expenses exceeded its revenues by $1.5 million in 2013 and its net position is now $3.2 million in the red. Auditors say the office has held deficits for the last five years.

Moore said the deficit mainly comes from healthcare costs associated with retirees.

"Every governmental agency would like more money and makes requests every year like we do. We work hand-in-glove with the Mayor's office, with the financial office there. They're well aware of our situation and every other office in the city-parish, so at this point we have no cause for alarm," he said.

Moore added that his office would only be in serious trouble in the unlikely event that every retiree claimed benefits on the same day.

"We don't have buildings that we own that we could offset that type of liability as other government agencies do. What we have is we have people, and that's why it looks the way it does," he said.

Assistant Legislative Auditor Joy Irwin said the role of auditors is to point out weak spots in local budgets and suggest ways to move forward.

"Just like at your house, if you have a savings account, you want to make sure that savings account is of a level that will sustain you in case of emergencies or unexpected expenses, so that's what they were telling the District Attorney," she said.

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