Louisiana legislative auditor resigning, calls for stable funding for office

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The Louisiana legislative auditor plans to step down March 2.

“After a 37-plus-year career, I’ve decided it’s time for me to move on to other challenges,” Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera said Monday. “This seems like the right time.”

Purpera has had the top job at the legislative auditor’s office for 11 years, he said. First Assistant Legislative Auditor Thomas Cole will fill in temporarily when Purpera steps down, Purpera said. Legislators will have a chance to vote in Purpera’s permanent successor during their legislative session in April.

Purpera said he might return to government work at some point, just not in the next few months.

Rep. Barry Ivey, who chairs the Legislative Audit Advisory Council, expressed appreciation for Purpera’s service while also praising his staff.

“I know that we are in more than capable hands throughout any transition,” Ivey said.

Purpera, who is requesting $10 million in general fund dollars for the auditor’s office budget, told Ivey’s oversight committee Monday that a stable funding source for the office should be found that isn’t dependent on “begging for money” annually.

The LLA partly works on self-generated money from contracted audits, but its investigative functions largely focus on local governments and quasi-governmental entities, many of which have neither the ability nor the desire to pay for audits of themselves, he said. State agencies also don’t want to spend their own budgets on an LLA performance audit.

“If that’s the service you want, then we’ve got to figure out a way to pay for it,” Purpera said.

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