Improper gifts given in Division A, Adult Drug Court

Published 11:45 pm Friday, September 5, 2014

By Monique Roth

EDGARD — St. John the Baptist Parish 40th Judicial District Court’s Division A and Adult Drug Court improperly paid more than $3,000 in Christmas bonuses and gifts to employees last year, according to the Louisiana State Auditor.

The findings stem from an audit conducted on the Court’s 2013 financial statements spanning from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.

“During our audit procedures, we noted that Division A and Adult Drug Court improperly paid Christmas bonuses totaling $3,175 to employees,” the audit’s report states.

“We also noted that Division A purchased a gift for an employee, and this gift was coded as an advertising expenditure.”

Division A and the Adult Drug Court are under the judgeship of Judge Madeline Jasmine.

A representative in Jasmine’s office said the judge had no comment regarding the audit findings.

According to the report, the bonuses and gifts violate Louisiana Constitution Article VII, Section 14.

“The funds, credit, property or things of value of the state or of any political subdivision shall not be loaned, pledged or donated to or for any person, association or corporation, public or private,” Louisiana Constitution Article VII, Section 14 states.

The audit findings reveal each judge of the 40th Judicial District Court will sign a statement of understanding of Article VII by Sept. 30 and will cease the payment of bonuses and gifts to employees.