Inspector General's Office releases report on misuse of public funds by fmr. exec. dir. of USS Kidd Memorial

Inspector General's Office releases report on misuse of public funds by former exec. dir. of USS Kidd Memorial

The Louisiana Inspector General's Office issued a report Friday on its findings from an investigation into claims the former executive director of the Louisiana Naval War Memorial Commission misused public funds.

The report identified several examples of improper use of public funds by Maury Drummond. It said Drummond used the public funds to write checks to himself, pay for his wife to accompany him on trips to conferences, authorize travel payments he wasn't entitled to, charge meals on credit cards when not traveling and donate to charities.

He is accused of misusing $13,552. The report stated the improprieties happened between 2011 and 2013. Despite the findings, Greg Phares with the Inspector General's office said they would not arrest Drummond.

"We don't plan to seek an arrest warrant for him and the reason for that is he is in extremely poor health and has been bedridden with multiple health issues for a long period of time," said Phares.

The report also stated recommendations are not included because those currently in charge have put controls in place to prevent the problems from happening in the future.

"The current management of the USS Kidd has, in our opinion, made very significant progress in correcting the issues we identified," Inspector General Stephen Street said in a written release. "The Kidd is important to the Baton Rouge community. We wish it well going forward."

Attorneys issued a letter to the IG's Office on behalf of Drummond stating health problems he has suffered.

"In spite of some deficiencies in record keeping, Mr. Drummond never personally profited beyond his agreed upon compensation as a result of his conduct of his office," said Drummond's attorney in a response to the IG's report. "His wife Margaret worked as an unpaid volunteer for most of the time mr. Drummond was director."

Alex Juan replaced Drummond as the executive director of the U.S.S. Kidd and said they have made several changes to policies.

"Any check over $2,000, the chairman or someone from the commission comes and signs. I do not reimburse myself for any expenditures. All of my travel is approved. We're following all the state guidelines for travel," said Juan.

It is up to the commission to decide if they want to seek reimbursement. The chairman of the commission said that the commission as a whole must make that decision and that they will meet next week.

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