Posted: Oct 21, 2011 10:05 PM by Ashley Rodrigue
BATON ROUGE- Four months after a News 2 investigation revealed that State Senator Rob Marionneaux parked his private plane in the Baton Rouge Police Department helicopter hangar, he's paid for the usage.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Attorney's Office sent Marionneaux the bill, for nine months worth of rent, totaling $2,610. Marionneaux cut the check Friday.
News 2's investigation started at the end of June when the plane was left in the hangar after BRPD moved out. Police learned the plane was there, originally as a favor, because of engine trouble, and only for a few days. But our investigation found it flew in and out for at least nine months and oversight let it stay for free.
The airport said it didn't get involved because the department's lease of the hangar, for $2,400 a month, allowed officers unrestricted access. But we found there was no lease, just a verbal deal.
That led to the Airport Commission requiring all leases be documented.
Marionneaux never wanted to comment about it, until News 2 caught up with him outside of court, when he acknowledged his plane being in the hangar and not paying for it.
But when the city-parish tallied up a total amount owed, Marionneaux handed over a payment, no questions asked.
He says, in a letter that accompanied the check, "I will submit the amount you suggest so as to put this matter behind us."
The letter also says the senator offered to pay for the use of the publicly-funded hangar, before News 2 started investigating.