State and federal agencies are investigating overtime claimed by Opelousas Mayor Reggie Tatum during last fall's floods.
KATC Investigates has been working on the story for months now. We first reported in September that Tatum claimed nearly $13,000 worth of overtime during the floods. Tatum submitted time sheets claiming he worked 16-hour days for 21 days straight after the flood.
We've found email correspondence between several state and federal agencies that confirm they're looking deeper into the issue to see if criminal charges are warranted. The agencies involved include FEMA, the state Attorney General's Office, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.
The emails cite our stories on the issue.
On Tuesday night, Mayor Tatum denied any knowledge of the investigations.
"I don't know anything about it," he says. "I haven't had a conversation with any of those agencies."
Tatum told us he was "repurposed" to work at a shelter during the flood, but FEMA's policy says mayors typically are exempt from overtime.
The shelter at the Opelousas Civic Center was open from Aug. 12-Sept. 3.
Tatum's overtime sheets, which KATC obtained via public records request, show the first day he reported overtime was on Aug. 13. The last day he reported overtime was Sept. 3, the day the shelter closed. .
The time sheets he provided to us were marked "Corrected Time Sheet" and were signed by neither the mayor nor anyone else.
None of the other time sheets he provided for City of Opelousas employees were marked as "corrected" and unsigned — except for the time sheets he later sent us with the names of four City Council members. Two of those council members have told us they did not ask for overtime and did not submit any time sheets.
All total, the mayor reported 234 hours of overtime during the flood.
The mayor's time sheets indicate he reported 20 hours of overtime on Aug. 13, a Saturday. On Aug. 14, a Sunday, he reported 16 hours of work. He then reported eight hours of overtime for the following Monday through Friday, followed by 16 hours on Saturday, Aug. 20, and Sunday, Aug. 21. He then reported eight hours of overtime for the following Monday through Friday, followed by a 16-hour day on Aug. 27, a Saturday.
Tatum also reported a 16-hour day on Aug. 28, a Sunday, followed by eight hours of overtime for the next Monday through Friday, and a 14-hour day on the Saturday, Sept. 3, the day the shelter closed.
We also learned that Tatum filed unsigned overtime sheets for councilmen. To read that story and hear from the councilmen, click here.