Auditors: VP Housing Authority may have paid for work not done

Posted at 9:57 AM, May 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-28 10:57:31-04

Investigative auditors looking into complaints about the Housing Authority of the City of Ville Platte found that the Authority may have improperly paid the assistant police chief for security services, a report released today states. 

Investigators visited the housing authority to look into complaints about the work of Assistant Chief Blaine Matte for security services, a letter to the authority states. You can read the letter for yourself by scrolling down. 

"Records showed that between January and December 2017, the Authority paid the assistant chief $9,600 as required by its security services contract with the City. However, auditors were unable to find any documentation, such as detailed timesheets, that showed what services the assistant chief performed," the letter states. "Auditors also found that the assistant chief did not perform all of the duties required under the contract, such as initiating and monitoring ongoing lines of communication with resident leaders and coordinating security workshops and training seminars for residents."

If the Authority paid the assistant chief for services he did not provide, it may be in violation of the state Constitution, the letter states. 

According tot he letter, the contract the authority has with Matte requires him to coordinate security for the authority’s housing projects and also other duties such as "initiating and monitoring ongoing lines of communication with resident leaders and coordinating security workshops and training seminars for residents." However, the investigators found that Matte only coordinated security. 

When they contacted Matte, he told investigators the contract requires him to "coordinate off-duty details and provide any other services requested by the Housing Authority, including providing reports, towing enforcement, and delivering tenant applications and background checks to the Housing Authority."

Housing Authority Executive Director Grant Soileau told investigators that security details are not necessary during certain periods of the year, and that some parts of the contract are left over from 20-year-old  documents created under a grant that required certain things.

Soileau told investigators that Matte "earns his salary during down times when the Housing Authority does not request off-duty security details by providing other services, such as running background checks for the Housing Authority," the letter states. 

"However, we found that Assistant Chief Matte’s secretary runs background checks for the Housing Authority using the City’s computer system," the letter states. 

The investigators suggest that the authority determine what services are necessary and compare that to the contract; require documentation for all expenditures; and review that documentation to make sure everything is in order before issuing payment. 

Here’s the letter: