Vermilion

May 5, 2014 7:17 PM by Akeam Ashford

Audit Finds Employee Allegedly Stole Money From Delcambre

A legislative audit into Delcambre's city utilities department is raising concerns and questions.

Auditors uncovered more than $62,000 is missing from the town's utility fund, according to the audit released today.

Turns out, it's not exactly news to Mayor Carol Broussard, who noticed the money was missing back in September 2013, before the auditors' investigation.

Broussard said he questioned the women in charge of utility collection as soon as city auditor's told him the money was missing.

"If the money went missing because of her then that looks bad on the town of Delcambre," Broussard said.

The woman resigned in December 2013.

In the legislative auditor's report, investigators questioned why the woman was allowed to work two additional months.

"There were investigations that we needed to find before we did anything, and that was the period of time it took. I think we got in touch with the state auditors office toward the end of the year about what was going on," Broussard said.

Broussard is criticized in the report for not acting in a more timely manner, and reporting the missing money sooner.

As for the former employee, so far she's not facing any charges.

There are more questions in the audit, which also found the town is out $238,000, because its utility service isn't making money and some customers aren't paying their bills.

Broussard said the town is looking at cost-saving measures, including raising utility rates.

"We've raised rates in the past. I mean, it's not like something that's going to be a surprise. Everybody wants better water and better gas. It's just things you have to do to keep the town running," Broussard said.

This isn't the first time Broussard said money was stolen from the utility department.

About seven years ago, the mayor said, an employee didn't charge herself for utilities, owing roughly $2,000 to the town.

No charges were brought up because that employee agreed to pay the city back.

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