JEANERETTE, La. (KLFY) — An employee of the City of Jeanerette used a city gas card to buy over $4,000 of personal items, according to an audit released by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office on Monday.

The audit, conducted by the accounting firm of Wright, Moore, DeHart, Dupuis & Hutchinson, covered the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022.

“During the current fiscal year, it was discovered that beginning on a date prior to June 30, 2022, an employee of the City Fire Department initiated personal transactions using a City issued fuel card,” the audit read. “The total unauthorized transactions were calculated to be $4,640.42. This matter was investigated by the City Police Department and turned over to the District Attorney for prosecution.”

The auditor noted in his report that the individual responsible for the misappropriation, who was charged and pleaded guilty, has arranged to pay full restitution to the city.

“Failure to implement proper controls over fuel card usage increases the risk that theft will occur
and not be detected in a timely manner,” the audit read. “The City should evaluate internal controls over fuel cards to ensure they are reviewed by management on a timely basis.”

The auditor also noted that the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office was not notified of the incident.

In a response letter dated Dec. 19, 2022, Jeanerette Mayor Carol Bourgeois Jr. agreed with the finding.

“Management reported a misappropriation of assets to the District Attorney but was not aware of the requirement to also report this to the Legislative Auditor’s Office,” Bourgeois said. “If this situation arises in the future, proper notification will be made. Restitution was received for the misappropriation.”

In addition, the auditor found the city lacked adequate controls over its financial statements and did not comply with the Local Government Budget Act when it failed to amend its budget to reflect a variance of more than 5% in its General Fund revenues.

“The City should implement procedures to ensure budgets are amended when required,” the audit read.

“The City incorrectly budgeted the American Rescue Plan Act funds,” Bourgeois wrote.

View the full audit here: