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Legislative auditor cites EPSO for several issues

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By: RAYMOND PARTSCH III
Managing Editor

The Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office is delinquent with its taxes and retirement funds.
In an audit released Monday by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor, the EPSO owes $114,953 in delinquent payroll taxes, as well as an additional $42,612 in delinquent retirement contributions to the Sheriff’s Pension and Relief Fund.
EPSO was cited for 21 issues, including 14 which were repeated from the year before, for the fiscal year that was completed in June 2015. Many of issues involved the lack of policies and monitoring procedures concerning finances, the violation of public bid law (citing buying three vehicles without quotes), the untimely fashion of cash deposits, not validating that time paid had been worked and processing employee’s timesheets in an appropriate time.
The LLA’s audit also focuses on former chief civil deputy Rebecca Devillier. The audit of EPSO from 2014 unveiled that $42,873 was missing. The LLA investigation, finished following the 2014 audit, also uncovered that another $12,790 was missing for the fiscal year 2015.
Devillier was fired in September 2014, arrested in October of 2014 for felony theft and malfeasance while in office. Devillier is accused of stealing more than $100,000 from EPSO during the time period of August 2011 through September 2014. Devillier allegedly authored unauthorized checks, unauthorized credit card purchases and then attempted to hide the activity by falsifying EPSO records.
Devillier’s trial is scheduled for April.
The LLA audit did state the Evangeline Parish Sheriff Eddie Soileau is planning to fix the issues that that the investigation uncovered.

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