Board of Ethics charges employee for using state credit card

A former employee of the Louisiana Workforce Commission faces ethics charges for allegedly using an agency credit card for personal purchases.

The Louisiana Board of Ethics accused Loretta Britt of charging $2,500 in personal expenditures on the LWC’s “La Carte Purchasing Card.”

Britt is accused of violating a law that prohibits a public servant from receiving anything of economic value for the performance of their job, other than compensation and benefits from the governmental entity to which they are entitled.

“To give the appearance that the personal purchases were approved by her supervisor, Ms. Britt would have her supervisor approve one log without the personal purchases and then submit a log containing the personal purchases to Procurement,” the charge document states. According to the charges, Britt made Louisiana Workforce Commission credit card purchases at Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Paypal (Woman Within), Piccadilly, Raising Cane’s and McDonald’s.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission uses the credit card to make small purchases for the agency. The card was confined to orders less than $1,000 and for less than $5,000 a day.

Britt was employed by the commission on April 1, 2009, at a salary of $1,580 bi-weekly. She was transferred to the position of administrative assistant to LWC Deputy Director Bill Rodier on Aug. 1, 2011 at the same salary.

Louisiana Workforce Commission spokesman Tom Guarisco said Britt worked for the Office of Workforce Development. Guarisco said Britt “paid back the amount of purchases in full.”

The charge document does not detail when the alleged improper activity occurred on the bank issued Visa card. The charges have been forwarded to the Ethics Adjudicatory Board for scheduling for hearing.

“The agency investigated the matter, and suspended Loretta Britt pending the investigation’s outcome,” said Guarisco. “During her suspension she resigned from the agency.”

The Louisiana Workforce Commission notified the state attorney general, the East Baton Rouge Parish district attorney, the legislative auditor and the state Ethics Board, Guarisco said.