Zurik: Subpoena shows focus of federal investigation into retiring-State Sen. Wesley Bishop

Federal investigators are looking into payroll records for Bishop’s work at Southern University at New Orleans
Zurik: A look inside our Wesley Bishop investigation
Zurik: A look inside our Wesley Bishop investigation
Updated: Aug. 30, 2019 at 3:28 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - A subpoena is revealing the focus of a federal corruption investigation into State Senator Wesley Bishop and his payroll records for his primary job as Vice-Chancellor at Southern University at New Orleans.

FOX 8 first reported of the federal investigation on Aug. 13 after our series of ‘Unexcused Absence’ investigations uncovered how Bishop used sick leave at SUNO while performing his legislative duties as state senator in Baton Rouge. Our investigation found Bishop used 122 sick days at SUNO, while he worked in Baton Rouge, adding to nearly $40,000 of money he may have improperly received.

The subpoena, obtained Friday by FOX 8 through a public records request, laid out several items for SUNO’s Human Resources Department to turn over to investigators with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Among the items requested by investigators, SUNO was asked to turn over Bishop’s personnel records, expense reimbursement/payment records, employment payroll records and time sheets from January 1, 2014 until the date the subpoena was received. Investigators also asked for all of Bishop’s e-mails from his Southern University e-mail account during that time frame.

The SUNO HR Department was also asked to send the university’s leave policies and any changes during that time. Investigators also asked for all files associated with an internal investigation by Southern University into Bishop’s use of sick, annual and leave without pay. FOX 8 has repeatedly asked for a copy of that internal investigation, but have not received it from the university.

Following the FOX 8 Investigation, Bishop cut taxpayers a $20,000 check to SUNO. Federal investigators also asked for proof of that payment and any other payment Bishop has made to reimburse the university for use of leave.

The documents did not make any mention of the grant that sources confirmed to FOX 8 is also part of the investigation into Bishop.

The Southern University System said Friday there has been no change in Bishop’s employment with the university and he is not on any form of leave.

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