Auditors: Coushatta police chief spending too much time as 5th grade teacher
COUSHATTA, LA (KSLA) -
For the past two and half years, Coushatta Police Chief Joey Miller has lived a double life. He's a school teacher by day and a police chief at night. His dual employment has now caught the eye of auditors, who cited his two jobs in the towns latest audit, released publicly Monday.
The report lists five major findings, ranging from the town clerk adjusting utility bills without approval to the lack of security over traffic tickets. But what really has the town talking is the finding that the chief of police is spending too much time working that second job.
"It's helping the community. Public service, that's all I've done all my life. Every job I've had has been public service," Miller explained Monday night.
"I was kind of blindsided," says Miller. While he insists he has balanced both jobs well and is fulfilling all of his police chief duties while teaching by day, auditors disagree.
In their audit, Natchitoches-based auditing firm Hines Sheffield and Squyres says, "The chief of police has not always performed his job duties. This is partly due to him having dual employment with the town and the Red River Parish School Board."
Auditors recommend Miller be "required to comply with job duties or be released from employment."
"Now why this would turn around to try to fire me or get rid of me? I don't know, sounds like a personal agenda," Miller said.
The audit also cited the controls over traffic tickets and the evidence room is lacking, which led to a stolen firearm. Miller showed KSLA News 12 how both findings have been addressed. The evidence room has been moved to a door with two locks and ticket books are locked in the assistant chiefs office.
The audit also found the town didn't get their financial papers to the auditor in a timely manner. Auditors also say the town clerk was adjusting utility bills without approval. Town councilman Mallory Parson says he was not happy with this year's audit results. "I've been a councilman for 9 years, this is the first audit that I have ever seen, written up the way it was written up," said Parson and as for Miller, he's looking for a second opinion. "I'm waiting on the Attorney Generals opinion, it should be released any day now."
We were not able to get a hold of Mayor Johnny Cox for this story. But he is quoted in the audit as accepting the auditors recommendation of firing Miller if he doesn't fulfill his duties.