New Orleans fire department faulted by audit

A recent legislative audit faulted the Grand Isle Fire Department in New Orleans, Louisiana for poor record-keeping and paying more than $20,000 in overtime to its fire chief despite a lack of documentation that he was entitled to it, according to the Times-Picayune.

"Since there is no overtime policy or board-approved practice, we could not determine if Chief Chaisson was entitled to receive overtime pay," the audit said, according to the news source. "Further, it appears to be a conflict of interest to have employees he supervises approve the chief's salary and overtime pay."

Documentation was also missing for $77,500 that was allegedly spent on meals, $43,700 in payments to employees, and $9,600 in checks payable, although fire chief Aubrey Chaisson was later able to produce records for some of these expenditures.

Chaisson and the president of the department's board of directors claimed that most of the missing documentation was destroyed in 2008 as a result of Hurricane Ike. The department has since hired a new bookkeeper and implemented a software program to handle its payroll.

A fire department in Modale, Iowa was also recently audited, according to the Chicago Tribune. More than $24,000 in questionable spending was revealed, and multiple department bank accounts that were not monitored by the city council were also found.

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