State Police Colonel Mike Edmonson told KEEL News last week he would not step down in light of the investigation into travel expenses related to a California trip, but he has apparently had a change of heart.

WAFB in Baton Rouge is reporting Edmonson is going to announce his retirement today.

This is a drastic turnaround for Edmonson who was critical of others who have called for his resignation, including U.S. Senator John Kennedy. The Senator said Edmonson violated his trust with the public in mishandling the travel expenses and he should "step down". Edmonson told KEEL "the Senator does not know all of the facts and we should wait for the investigation to be complete."

Senator Kennedy issued the following statement on Wednesday:

Col. Edmonson made the right decision in retiring, and I thank him for his service. Unfortunately, his leadership had become a distraction during difficult times for Louisiana.  I encourage the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office and the Division of Administration to continue their investigations into out-of-state travel by State Police so that much needed reforms can be made to safeguard taxpayer dollars.

Governor John Bel Edwards ordered a full investigation into the an October trip to San Diego which included 17 State Police employees. Four of them took a side trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon and charged the state for overtime.

Edmonson is expected to stay on an interim basis while a search is conducted for his replacement.


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