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Aug 22, 2010 6:46 PM by Chris Welty

Ex-Legislative Fiscal Officer Cleared

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A panel of ethics judges has dismissed
charges that a former legislative fiscal officer improperly
received retroactive compensation six years ago.
Johnny Rombach, the Legislature's top financial analyst for 16
years, resigned as head of the fiscal office in 2004 amid
accusations that he had given himself unauthorized retroactive
increases in salary, per diem and car allowances.
The state Board of Ethics charged Rombach, 60, with three ethics
violations in 2005. The case dragged over disputes about how the
case would proceed. A panel of three administrative law judges
heard the case last month and on Friday dismissed all three
charges.
"I like it," Rombach told The Times-Picayune. "It took five
years, but I like it."
Rombach told the paper that he hasn't been able to get a
permanent job since the ethics charges were launched.
The judges said Rombach's salary increases in 2004 were approved
by a legislative budget committee according to the policies and
procedures of the fiscal office, which normally gave pay increases
on a retroactive basis according to its employees' anniversary
dates. The judges agreed with arguments by Rombach's attorney,
Chris Alexander, that the retroactive pay was allowed by the
policies in place at the time.
His salary was $110,000 and the retroactive pay generated a
one-time payment of $12,270.77, according to state documents.
The panel reached similar conclusions about Rombach's
retroactive compensation for daily expenses and a car allowance.

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