City Questioned for Trading in Vehicles

February 21, 2017

The Police Chief for the City of Scott, La., may have violated state ethics laws with a vehicle purchase. An audit from the State of Louisiana questioned the city's practice of trading in fleet vehicles rather than selling them at a public auction. The Legislator's Office looked into a specific purchase, in which Police Chief Chad Leger purchased a pickup truck for personal use the same day the police department traded it in.

The audit recommended the city implement written policies and procedures to ensure surplus property is disposed of in accordance with state law. It also recommended the city consult with its legal counsel and the Louisiana Board of Ethics to ensure compliance with state and local laws and require all city employees to complete annual ethics training.

In a response, Scott Mayor Purvis Morrison noted that, although trading in vehicles was not a regular practice, trade-ins were never flagged as a violation by the city auditor. Morrison said the city plans to suggest new legislation to clarify these laws and make trade-ins legal, which he believes saves taxpayers the additional cost of putting vehicles up for auction.

The investigation into Chief Leger's purchased pickup has been referred to the Louisiana Board of Ethics.

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