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UPDATE: ILLEGAL “CPERS” ACCOUNTS: $344,069 … FED TAXES UNPAID & MORE

By:
  • Elliott Stonecipher

Friday, April 21, 2017 ….. 8:58 A.M.

More information about withdrawals of “CPERS” retirement pay has been made available by the Caddo Parish Commission since this article was originally posted last Saturday:

1. Contrary to the claims of many Commissioners while they were campaigning for re-election in 2015, NO Commissioner has ever returned any CPERS money to public coffers.

2. Contrary to the claims of some Commissioners and top Commission staff, there has been no “freeze” put on CPERS account activity. Perhaps there will be one now, after these records requests, but no one should bet on it.

3. Notwithstanding the red-flags thrown at the Commission by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor in his February 2015 letter and November 2015 audit report, and regardless that CPERS for part-time elected officials in Louisiana has been explicitly outlawed since January 1, 1997, two new Commissioners who came aboard in 2015 – Lynn Cawthorne and Stormy Gage-Watts – joined the Commission’s CPERS romp.

4. Withdrawals by Commissioners of CPERS contributions they made at any time into their accounts, are not reported by the Commission.

The income and other tax treatment of those withdrawals is unknown.

I once again thank local attorney Erik Vigen for his very helpful Public Records Law requests of the Commission.

MORE ON THE LITIGATION FRONT

Although it is too soon to report with certainty, litigation against the Caddo Commission may expand in coming days. Attention is focused on reducing the huge legal fees paid to Commission attorneys as they work against Caddo taxpayer interests to preserve Commissioners’ self-pay haul.

As always, I will report any and all such specifics as soon they are known.

© 2017 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Elliott Stonecipher

Elliott is a freelance contributor to RealShreveport.com and any other locally interested publications. Importantly, Elliott has several first-hand experiences in almost every aspect of the best and worst in local politics of Louisiana, particularly Northwest Louisiana. For several years and at great personal risk, Elliott has worked as a watchdog in local politics by writing and exposing numerous subjects that every other media outlet has refused to touch.

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