Alexandria mayoral employee arrested for misappropriating thousands for ski trip

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - A City of Alexandria mayoral employee has been arrested for misappropriating thousands of dollars.

SOURCE: ALEXANDRIA POLICE DEPARTMENT

According to the Alexandria Police Department, after an investigation police received a warrant for Alexandria Community Services Director Daniel Williams. On Monday he turned himself in and was arrested and charged with Unauthorized Use of an Access Card Over $1,500.

A city spokesperson said Williams has been suspended without pay since March 2, a day after the misappropriation was found.

Last week, News Channel 5 obtained a letter from the Legislative Auditor that was sent by David Crutchfield, Director of Finance for the city, on March 1, Crutchfield reported that the city suspected "misappropriation of approximately $3,015 of City of Alexandria funds through personal purchases charged to a City of Alexandria purchasing card."

The employee is alleged to have made the purchases on Jan. 11 and Jan. 25, 2017. According to the letter, the accounting department reported the charges to Crutchfield's office. The charges included "airfare, hotel and ski resort stay in Colorado."

Williams was appointed community services director in 2013. Williams also unsuccessfully ran in the special election for State House Dist. 26 seat in 2015 to fill Rep. Herbert Dixon’s seat after resigning for health reasons.

The following is the official statement from the City of Alexandria:

"'This matter has been thoroughly investigated by the Alexandria Police Department. The arrest formally begins the legal process,' City Attorney Charles Johnson said.

"The letter speaks for itself by indicating the immediate disclosure of a questioned and determined-as-inappropriate use of a City credit card. The discovery of a questioned expenditure was immediate (on the first bill review by our finance department internal control) via an itemized statement. In any investigatory matter, state law requires financial issues to be reported immediately to the appropriate authorities, including the D.A. and legislative auditor. The City complies with this in other cases and did so in this matter. In fact, immediately upon reviewing the issue, the $3015 contended as an unauthorized charge was recouped in its entirety, through bona fide collection method within hours of discovery. Notably, the $3015 was for use of City credit for personal vacation; there is no question these charges were improper. It was never related to a City authorized trip. The City’s job is to avoid harm to the public and recoup financial harm upon occurrence. As the law provides, ongoing investigations are not public records until completion for obvious reasons to avoid altering responses or information material to the investigation. This is the system working, not failing; when a harm occurs, the job of our finance division is to discover, report, and act.

"As the City Attorney explained, the City of Alexandria does not and cannot comment on personnel issues, unless those issues pose an immediate risk of loss or harm to the public or its property. In this case, proper personnel action occurred immediately to avoid any further issue. Also, in this matter, the City is protected from financial harm but continues to do its investigatory job. To the extent you are requesting personnel or disciplinary information, then, upon conclusion of the personnel investigation, the City will make a report to the Council and public. The past audits and internal controls demonstrate year after year the City of Alexandria has systems in place to identify and quickly resolve any behavior by its personnel leading to loss. "



 
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