COVINGTON — A federal audit questions how more than $2.4 million in federal money was spent by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office after hurricanes affected the area from 2005-2008.
The audit, by the Office of Inspector General, says $1.8 million in labor costs were not properly documented after hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav.
The the inspector general recommends the Sheriff’s Office return the money, most of which was for expenses after Katrina struck in August 2005.
The findings are disputed by the Sheriff’s Office and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the state agency that originally approved the expenses.
The inspector general also questioned more than $418,000 for helicopter services, and said the Sheriff’s Office did not buy adequate insurance for several trucks it purchased.
GOHSEP and the Sheriff’s Office have sent lengthy responses to the inspector general.
The Sheriff’s Office response alone is thousands of pages, and includes copies of timesheets, flight logs and insurance information to back up its claims.
Sheriff Jack Strain said he asked the inspector general to provide a sample of what the office considers to be adequate documentation for labor expenses. He said he has not received a response.
The Sheriff’s Office said some of the original documents it submitted contained errors.
Those costs were recalculated and resubmitted, the Sheriff’s Office said.