THE INVESTIGATORS: DOC misplaced dozens of cows according to state records

THE INVESTIGATORS: DOC misplaced dozens of cows according to state records
The Louisiana Department of Corrections (DOC) has misplaced dozens of cows bought with taxpayer money over the last five years, according to data presented in the state’s inventory list. (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Corrections (DOC) has misplaced dozens of cows bought on your dime over the last five years, according to data presented in the state’s inventory list.

Every single day, agencies across Louisiana use taxpayer money to buy things but not everything taxpayers pay for ends up serving them long term. In the last five years, according to public records obtained by the 9News Investigators, in the latest inventory, the state reported losing 9,926 items tax dollars covered. That comes out to more than $26 million dollars in property, most of which, those agencies still cannot find.

The list makes it plain and while it’s riddled with computers, cell phones and other general office supplies, some things caught the eye of the 9News Investigators.

Back in 2019, DOC spent $20,000 on a generator that is now listed as missing.

When WAFB asked about it, leaders with DOC said it was likely incorrectly labeled and did not have a tag on it when crews searched their inventory. The agency also used more than $6,200 of tax dollars to buy a mini truck. When asked why they can’t find it now, WAFB was told staff says it was likely used for parts for other prison equipment.

The agency also spent $3,200 on an ice machine that was also listed as missing in 2020. Leaders told WAFB because it’s an older machine it may have been thrown out but there’s no paper trail to back that up.

Perhaps the wildest thing DOC lost is dozens of cows. The agency first reported losing 40 cows but after WAFB started asking questions, they reported they had found half of them. As of this report, 21 cows are still missing, which make up about $20,000 worth of livestock that tax dollars paid for. DOC points out they typically find more of the animals when they count them in the spring and fall but they say some of them die, remain in the woods during those counts, or get snatched up by wild animals. Some folks the 9News Investigators spoke with are not happy about it.

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