MARINGOUIN, LA (WAFB) - The state has recouped tens of thousands of dollars after a report by the Investigators.
The Town of Maringouin paid a check worth $31,000 to the State Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Current Maringouin Mayor Demi Vorise said despite it leaving a big dent in their town's budget, by law, they had to pay it back to the state.
"In this situation with the misinterpretation of the language in the fact that the chief was paid out $31,000 when he should not have been, we need to seek reimbursement," said Lt. J.B. Slaton with State Police. "In this situation, we asked the chief for reimbursement since he was the one who received the pay, and the Town of Maringouin paid the $31,000 reimbursement on his behalf."
In March, the Investigators went digging into why the state overpaid former Maringouin Police Chief John Simien $31,000 over a five-year period. The Department of Public Safety pays out supplemental pay to officers to boost their low salaries.
DPS Secretary Jill Boudreaux admitted back in March that the wording on supplemental pay led up to confusion.
"The language they used made it sound as though he was exempt from the post certification which was not the case," said Boudreaux. "We would really be at fault with that, and we have since worked with LCLE to clear that language up."
Through legal means, the state asked for reimbursement after accidentally paying out the thousands of dollars. Now, they have it back, but Maringouin's mayor said they will ask the former chief to reimburse the town. However, Simien echoes the same thing now that he said back in March.
"There's no way in the world I can pay them back $31,000 now. I'm not working," said Simien in March.
Simien still said he cannot pay the town back.