State agency fighting Jindal administration over cars
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Public Service Commission is fighting back against Governor Jindal's administration to keep its state cars.
This comes after the Division of Administration announced plans to auction more than 700 state vehicles in early 2015. Of the state's more than 11,000 vehicles around 1,400 of them are considered underutilized because they are not driven more than 15,000 miles in a year. The state expects to rake in between $700,000 and $1.4 million by selling the cars.
The PSC has 13 vehicles that are used to meet with constituents and utility companies while investigating complaints. Seven of those cars are on the chopping block. PSC Executive Secretary Eve Gonzalez says the commission wouldn't be able to serve its rate payers in Louisiana.
"They're critical, because we operate throughout the entire state so our commissioners and their staff basically have to conduct most of their business by car. A lot of times it's last minute," she said.
In a released statement the Jindal administration says "The cost of maintaining underutilized vehicles is greater than the cost of reimbursing employees for travel when it's necessary."
However, the PSC says that's not the case.
"Well we took that and you take the exact mileage that we put on those vehicles and we took the amount that the state reimburses employees, it will cost twice as much, so we are keeping money by saving the cars," said Gonzalez.
The Division of Administration's legal team is figuring out what to do next. The state would not comment on potential repercussions.