Legislative Audit shows excessive compensation and misuse of city vehicle in Ville Platte

After receiving two separate complaints of Ville Platte Mayor Jennifer Vidrine allegedly misusing her city vehicle, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor set out on investigating and released its findings Monday, May 13.
The main finding is that the mayor and the city councilmembers appeared to have received compensation in excess of city ordinance. “From July 2017 to June 2018, the city appears to have paid Mayor Jennifer Vidrine and the Board of Aldermen (Board) $40,734 in excess compensation,” according to an audit summary. “Although their salaries were set by ordinance, Mayor Vidrine received monthly vehicle and phone allowances and per diem payments for attending regular monthly Board meetings, while Board members also received monthly vehicle allowances and per diem payments for attending regular monthly Board meetings. These allowances and per diem payments increased their respective compensation above the amounts set by ordinance. Payments in excess of the salaries set by the Board may violate state law.”
Another finding in the audit revolves around the alleged misuse of the mayor’s city vehicle. According to the audit summary, “Mayor Vidrine may have violated City policy and state law by using her City vehicle for personal purposes. In addition, the City’s practice of assigning a City-owned vehicle to the mayor and paying the mayor an annual vehicle allowance appears to duplicate benefits in possible violation of the Louisiana Constitution. Finally, we observed that the City-owned vehicle assigned to Mayor Vidrine did not have a public license plate or a logo bearing the City’s name, in accordance with state law.”
Look for more coverage on the audit in the Thursday, May 16, edition of The Ville Platte Gazette.

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