Edmonson Update

Audit: Mike Edmonson’s inner circle received free ‘hotel-style’ rooms at State Police Training Academy

BY JIM MUSTIAN | jmustian@theadvocate.com

State and federal authorities have set their sights on Mike Edmonson, the longtime Louisiana State Police superintendent who retired this year amid a cloud of controversy that has widened recently as investigators examined the lavish lifestyle Edmonson enjoyed for years at taxpayers’ expense.

Among the allegations Edmonson faces is that, unlike previous superintendents, he moved his family into the State Police compound and lived there rent-free for nine years — a benefit that the state apparently did not report to the Internal Revenue Service.

State auditors recently found that the Edmonsons lived off inmate labor, making use of trusties who cooked, cleaned and even walked the family dog at the colonel’s residence. The questionable use of state resources included the construction of a shoe closet for Edmonson’s wife.

But Edmonson’s accommodations aren’t the only living arrangements at the State Police compound that have drawn investigators’ attention.

A few troopers and others in Edmonson’s inner circle also lived in “VIP” housing at State Police training facilities, a perk afforded to them “at no charge and without a public purpose,” according to a report on a lengthy inquiry by the state Legislative Auditor’s Office.

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