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State revokes questionable contract for high-profile Angola employees after WBRZ report

2 months 1 day 3 hours ago Thursday, March 30 2023 Mar 30, 2023 March 30, 2023 3:55 PM March 30, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- The Office of Juvenile Justice revoked a questionable contract from two high-ranking Angola employees after the WBRZ Investigative Unit exposed the contract ran afoul of state ethics laws.

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The contract for grass-cutting was given to William Kaycee Rosso under the name Rosso Lawn Services and paid them $1,200 to cut a small section of grass. Rosso is a warden at Angola, earning nearly $74,000 per year according to state payroll records from 2021.

His brother, David Britt Rosso, is a major earning nearly $70,000. Both men set up an LLC with the Louisiana Secretary of State back in December and are listed as the agents and officers of the company. Their addresses show they are living on Angola's property. It's a perk funded by taxpayers that is offered to some employees who work at the prison.

"We have an elaborate ethics law designed to prevent nepotism and abuse of office and corruption," LSU Law Professor Ken Levy said. "This certainly looks corrupt when state employees get the advantage on all of their competitors. It's not fair. It stinks."

The contract was awarded in August and issued by the State Office of Juvenile Justice. Four months after the contract was awarded, Louisiana business filings with the Secretary of State's Office show the employees who received the contract created a lawn company that bears the name on the contract. It was issued without going out for public bid, as some of the state's troubled teens were relocated to Angola and housed there after they kept escaping the juvenile facilities.

The contract was issued under the prior OJJ administration. Secretary Bill Sommers resigned amid clouds of controversy after a number of juveniles escaped secured facilities on his watch.

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