Monday, February 1, 2016

Louisiana Veterans Affairs Secretary Blasted After Investigation

Investigation blasts former veterans affairs secretary
The New Star
Greg Hilburn
February 1, 2016
Former Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary was fired by former Gov. Bobby Jindal Oct. 8.
(Photo: GANNETT LOUISIANA)
Former Louisiana Veterans Affairs Secretary Dave LaCerte is accused of improperly funneling funds to a company owned by former law school classmates, lying about his military service record and inflating travel expenses in a joint report released today by the state's legislative auditor and inspector general.

LaCerte's attorney, Jarrett Ambeau of Baton Rouge, denied all of the investigation's findings in a letter to Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera.

"The Joint Investigation Report's findings are patently false, blatant character assassination and appear to be a calculated attack on the integrity and credibility for (LaCerte)," Ambeau wrote.

But former Interim Veterans Affairs Secretary Thomas Enright and newly-appointed Veterans Affairs Secretary Joey Strickland concurred with the findings in written responses.

"I am disturbed to learn that the previous LDVA secretary deviated from a veteran-focused mind-set and that this contributed to many of the problems cited in your report," Strickland wrote. "... I firmly believe that once the reforms I put in place are fully implemented, LDVA will be back on track and again focused on its mission of supporting Louisiana veterans and their families."
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