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Louisiana State Police Supt. Col. Mike Edmonson speaks during an interview Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at LSP headquarters. 

It must have been nice to be former Louisiana State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson all those years, as two successive governors who didn't agree on much else had his back even as he lived high on the hog on the taxpayer dime.

It turns out it must have nice to be one of his work buddies too.

Edmonson's charmed streak finally ended earlier this year when he was forced to resign amid news that some of his close allies in the department had taken a long scenic detour while driving to San Diego for a law enforcement conference. The group racked up some $13,000 in unnecessary taxpayer charges, according to a draft audit by the state legislative auditor.

The damning audit, obtained recently by The Advocate, also outlined many ways in which Edmonson himself cashed in, from free housing to inmate labor to clean, cook, walk the family dog. He even had a shoe closet installed for his wife.

Apparently he wasn't the only one to benefit from the taxpayer's largesse. The audit also found that members of his circle could stay for free in dorm rooms and VIP accommodations at the department's training academy in Baton Rouge. They included Charles Dupuy, Edmonson's longtime chief of staff, who told officials he stayed there while going through a divorce, a generous benefit that's not exactly available to the people who paid his salary. Dupuy enjoyed access to housing for five years, with the normal fees waived, according to the audit.

Others who rated this particular perk included two troopers who were later disciplined for taking that infamous side trip, which featured stops at the Grand Canyon in and Las Vegas.

Yup, must have been nice to have been on the inside while all these goodies were flowing.

I hope it was worth it, because the way this investigation is shaping up, life for all those involved is about to be anything but nice.

Follow Stephanie Grace on Twitter, @stephgracela.