NO.beauregard.01222

Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser looks over artifacts removed from a time capsule buried at the base of the P.G.T. Beauregard Statue as Louisiana State Museum experts open it in New Orleans, La., Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. Buried when the monument was constructed in 1913 and excavated when the pedestal was demolished last month, the capsule contains both American and Confederate flags, currency, bonds, newspapers, medals and coins.

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser's annual salary has an extra $8,400 tacked onto it to compensate him for driving his personal vehicle to work. However, according to a report from WWL-TV, sources who have worked in the state Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism say that Nungesser is not often seen driving himself. 

Nungesser is instead driven by State Police troopers in a state-owned SUV wherever he goes. He has told WWL-TV at different points that troopers drive him "everywhere" and that they only drive him part of the time. 

As Nungesser gears up to run for a second term as lieutenant governor, the WWL story questioned his personal vehicle stipend and his use of State Police troopers and vehicles, among other issues. 

WWL-TV also found that members of Nungesser's state staff may have been working on his re-election campaign while being paid by taxpayers, and in other instances he may have blurred the lines between official government activities and his re-election campaign.

Nungesser claims he often uses his own funds to cover state expenses and estimates his out-of-pocket expenses come to around $60,000 a year. But public records show that the 22 travel expense reports he filed in 2018 totaled more than $19,000. 

State officials can use a state-owned vehicle or take the vehicle stipend, but cannot do both. Despite his annual $8,400 stipend, State Police confirm that Nungesser is assigned a police unit, which has driven him nearly 73,770 miles, costing nearly $10,000 in fuel and more than $9,100 in overtime since the beginning of 2018.

Read the full report from WWL-TV here.