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Audit: State worker spent taxpayer money on trips, was paid for time spent golfing

1 year 5 months 2 weeks ago Monday, April 08 2019 Apr 8, 2019 April 08, 2019 1:14 PM April 08, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - More details have emerged revealing what landed a Louisiana Tax Commission administrator in jail earlier this year.

In January, LTC Administrator Charles Ables III was booked with malfeasance in office, public payroll fraud and filing or maintaining false public records.

The Louisiana Legislature Auditor's Office released a report Monday detailing how Ables may have taken advantage of state money. The report includes allegations Ables spent taxpayer money on non-work-related trips and used work hours for leisurely activities like golfing and shopping. The documents include photos showing Ables at a golf course and a daiquiri shop in Baton Rouge while he was on the clock.

The audit specifically says Ables was paid $1,542 for more than 30 hours he didn't actually work between July 30 and Aug. 3 2018. He was paid up to $14,841 for 321 additional hours he allegedly didn't work, and even spent out-of-state, between Feb. 23, 2017 and Sep. 5, 2018.

Further investigation revealed that Ables was reimbursed more than $1,200 for fuel purchased on weekends, holidays and other days he wasn't working.

Officials also said Ables incurred improper and unnecessary travel expenses totaling $2,560 between Oct. 19, 2017, and July 18, 2018. Those expenses included conference-related travel expenses for LTC employees who weren't registered for the conference or were resigned but didn't attend the conference.

According to the auditor's office due to the lack of oversight timekeeping, "LTC didn't exercise adequate oversight over Mr. Ables' time. As a result, LTC failed to deduct at least 73.5 hours of annual and sick leave from Mr. Abels' leave balances from April 23, 2018 to August 3, 2018."

You can read through the full document by clicking here.

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