Col. Edmonson issues statement in response to investigation into - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Col. Edmonson issues statement in response to investigation into travel expenses

Col. Mike Edmonson (Source: WAFB) Col. Mike Edmonson (Source: WAFB)
(WAFB) -

In response to Governor John Bel Edwards calling for an investigation into Louisiana State Police's travel expenses, State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson has issued a statement.

The trip in question was part of a conference where Col. Edmonson was being honored that troopers traveled to, where they reportedly took a 350-mile detour to a resort in Las Vegas. Col. Edmonson says he'll get those troopers to pay the taxpayers back for that and for any other times where the troopers may have lied on their time sheets during the trip. The colonel also says he's reassigned one trooper while others investigate the situation.

The full statement from Edmonson can be read below:

After learning last week of the fact that agency representatives traveling to a conference in San Diego claimed overtime and traveled through Las Vegas, I immediately began a review of the circumstances surrounding the trip. In response, I’ve directed the following steps be taken by the department:

1. Major Cathy Flinchum, Patrol Region 1 - Command Inspector and former Internal Affairs – Command Inspector, is conducting an administrative investigation to determine any violations of departmental policy and procedures.

2. Major Derrell Williams has been reassigned from Internal Affairs to Patrol pending the completion of the administrative investigation.

3. Management and Finance is taking steps to recoup the monies paid in overtime and reclassify any earned time as compensatory time. 

4. All hotel fees and per diem claimed in Las Vegas will be repaid to the department.

5. Changing policy to reflect that paid overtime compensation may not be claimed for travel or conference training except for extraordinary circumstances approved through the Office of the Superintendent.

6. Reiterated that all departmental out-of-state travel applications including departmental vehicle use or rental car authorization must be approved through the Office of the Superintendent.

I am not naïve to the fact that the management of this department clearly rest on my shoulders. All employees of the Department of Public Safety, including myself, are responsible and accountable for their actions. The public can rest assured that I am making necessary changes and providing clear direction to those under my command. I believe that this incident does not overshadow the incredible work by the men and women of the Louisiana State Police who dedicate themselves to making our highways and communities safer each and every day.

RELATED: Governor calls for full investigation into State Police travel

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