Legislative auditor investigates equipment use, ethics in Denham - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Legislative auditor investigates equipment use, ethics in Denham Springs Wastewater Department

Denham Springs City Hall (Source: Facebook) Denham Springs City Hall (Source: Facebook)

The Louisiana Legislative Auditor is recommending the Denham Springs Wastewater Department take a closer look at its equipment use and ethics.

Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera issued a letter stating the department allows other government agencies outside the city to use a vacuum truck and workers to clear "sludge" from construction areas. The report showed the department does not keep records of the truck’s use by those outside agencies. It added there is no type of agreement authorizing the work and the department is not reimbursed for the equipment use or the truck operator’s pay. Investigators said department personnel may have violated the Louisiana Constitution.

The report also pointed out records indicate GRC Construction, which is owned by James Clark, the supervisor of the wastewater department, contracted for two years with two Livingston Parish sewer districts to cut the grass for those districts. Investigators said Clark appears to have also authorized for city equipment to be donated to the sewer districts. Officials said he may have violated state ethics laws and suggested the Louisiana Board of Ethics review the information and decide what should happen.

The auditor’s office is recommending Denham Springs officials put written policies and procedures in place to ensure compliance with the state’s constitution. It also recommends documenting and monitoring use of city equipment. It added the city should have policies and procedures for transactions between city employees and government agencies.

The report also mentioned a problem with the mayor getting paid less than he was supposed to, but the human resources manager found the error and corrected it.

Click here for the full report

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