Audit Finds ‘Inaccurate Financial Statements’ from Caddo Constable
An audit done by Louisiana Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera reveals inaccurate financial statements and income reporting by Caddo Parish Constable of Ward Eight Eric Hatfield.
Purpera wrote in his audit report:
We reviewed your office’s financial statements for calendar years 2013 and 2014 and compared the amounts reported as income to the actual revenues received by your office. These records indicate that you did not report $5,534 in revenues collected during this time period. This amount included $3,234 in revenues received from “Deputy Contract Work” in 2013 and at least $2,300 of “Fees Collected” from the Justice of the Peace during 2014. According to records obtained from your office, “Deputy Contract Work” included security patrols performed for a local homeowner’s association, and “Fees Collected” included payments received from the Justice of the Peace Court for serving papers, including eviction notices.
The audit also showed Hatfield's office failed to disclose all income to the Louisiana Board of Ethics:
We reviewed the financial disclosure statements submitted by you for 2012, 2013, and 2014. We determined that companies owned by you received $292,975 from the Shreveport Housing Authority in 2012 and 2013 that was not recorded on the financial disclosure statements you submitted to the Louisiana Board of Ethics. We also determined that you received $54,954 of income from Target Oilfield Services in 2012, which was not reported on the financial disclosure statements you submitted to the Louisiana Board of Ethics.
In his written response, Hatfield said he never had any interaction with the Legislative Auditors or complaints until he publicly announced his candidacy for Caddo Parish Sheriff.
"This investigation was very costly to taxpayers as it involved numerous trips by investigators back and forth from Baton Rouge to Shreveport simply to interview a Constable who receives $300/month from the parish," Hatfield wrote. "Taxpayers paid for fuel, meals, and lodging in reference to the investigation."