Two Westlake city councilmen alleging that the city’s chief administrative officer improperly used city funds took their accusations to law enforcement officials on Friday. Councilman John Cradure confirmed that he and Wally Anderson met with officials from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office to bring allegations that Lonnie Smart has been improperly using city funds. (mgnonline.com)
Last Modified: Sunday, July 22, 2012 7:18 PM
Two Westlake city councilmen alleging that the city’s chief administrative officer improperly used city funds took their accusations to law enforcement officials on Friday.
Councilman John Cradure confirmed that he and Wally Anderson met with officials from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office to bring allegations that Lonnie Smart has been improperly using city funds.
Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Kim Myers confirmed that the meeting took place, as did District Attorney John DeRosier, who said a member of his office sat in on the meeting.
Both said it was a preliminary meeting.
Myers stressed that “no report has been filed” and that the Sheriff’s Office does not discuss ongoing investigations.
“Let’s not pre-judge it until we see exactly what we’ve got here,” DeRosier said.
Cradure said he and Anderson took their concerns to the sheriff’s office because, “we have a fiduciary responsibility and we felt that it was warranted.”
Cradure said the councilmen began to look in to spending because “they were withholding everything. They wouldn’t release anything.”
Smart said “I invited” the investigation and called it a “political ploy by two people on the council that aren’t getting their way.” He said the investigation will clear his name and reveal no improprieties.
Cradure said among the allegations is that Smart has been using the city credit card for personal use, including to pay for a plane ticket to North Carolina in June and to pay for the ticket of a female who accompanied him on a city trip to Washington D.C. in March.
Smart said he paid both back. He said he repaid the city for the North Carolina ticket when the bill came in. He claimed auditors saw the transaction and found “nothing wrong.”
He called the ticket for the female companion a “booking convenience” because he bought her ticket at the same time he bought his.
“They can investigate all they want, I have nothing to hide,” Smart said. “In the history of that city, anybody who has ever used a credit card, when they got back if they had any personal issues, they paid them.”
Posted By: Alex Farmer On: 7/25/2012
Title: How to handle
These issues between companies or agencies is a civil issue and should not take the time or money of our Calc rate payers. Corporations like state agencies have policies they should have inplace to handle these types of isses for which are civil. If this was to ever go to court sure hope they provided training on policies and procedures and had a good accounting sytem inplace.
Posted By: Susan Marr On: 7/24/2012
Title: Westlake councilmen Cradure/Anderson
I think these two councilmen are "not getting their way" therefore, like small children are crying wolf. There are always certain people on a "City" council doesn't matter where or what city; that become the "naysayers and trouble makers." They are seen for what they are. Funny, isn't it?