Despite efforts to shrink the number of Louisiana's governing boards and commissions, the total of such panels is higher now than when Gov. Bobby Jindal took office in 2008.
That's according to a review by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's office released this week.
The auditor's report says as of June 2012, the state had 492 boards and commissions created by law or executive order. That compares to 484 such panels in 2008. The high point was in 2004, when 513 boards and commissions were on the books.
The Louisiana Legislative Auditor says a second review of financial records at Jefferson Community Healthcare Centers has uncovered illegal use of public money and transactions involving former Jefferson Parish Councilman Byron Lee and his family.
The auditor found that more than $200,000 in clinic funds was transferred the personal bank account of former chief financial officer Ebony Williams and that $135,000 in public money was used for unearned benefits as well as political donations, a for-profit business investment and a Christmas party.
Legislative auditors say a contract with a private company based in Mandeville to privatize and run much of the claims processing and management handled by the state's Office of Risk Management has been producing results ahead of schedules.
Emily Wilson, a performance audit manager for the state's legislative auditor's office, said Monday that F.A. Richard and Associates Inc. saved Louisiana a net amount of $1.4 million in the 2011 fiscal year.
Officials from the Louisiana Department of Economic Development say the only action they could take against two companies that received about $935,000 in ineligible state motion picture tax credits is to file a civil action lawsuit.
Legislative auditors say members of the state economic development agency improperly issued thousands of tax credits for expenditures made by two companies involved in making a documentary about the Mardi Gras season called "Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras: Building of the Greatest Free Show on Earth."
BATON ROUGE — The state Legislative Auditor has released a report that accuses the director and a board member of the Kenner Convention and Visitors Bureau of misusing public funds.
The charges of possible misspending, in an audit released Monday, include more than $200,000 given to the board president and his daughter, thousands of dollars in undocumented credit card spending, improper advances to an employee and Christmas bonuses the director gave himself.