News alert: DA declines action on Council on Aging tax election

    Three years after the controversial tax election that created a dedicated funding stream for the East Baton Rouge Parish Council on Aging, the agency won’t face charges of potential criminal wrongdoing by East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore.

    Moore released a report this morning, detailing the findings of an investigation he undertook in 2017, after the Louisiana Legislative Auditor issued a report suggesting the CoA may have violated state criminal laws by campaigning for the dedicated tax in the weeks leading up to the November 2016 election.

    Though the legislative auditor identified six potential problem areas in its report on the CoA’s activities, Moore focused on just two that he says were within his jurisdiction to investigate: 1) that CoA employees engaged in political activity during work hours, and 2) that the CoA improperly donated funds to the Save Our Seniors PAC, which was created to campaign for the tax.

    Moore’s investigation found the state lacked sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the CoA or its officials committed any potential crimes in either area, his report says. He notes that, “while a complaint concerning the allegations was addressed to the Board of Ethics, the board has not publicly announced any enforcement action, nor has it forwarded the case to the District Attorney, suggesting that no violation worthy of criminal investigation was found.”

    Read Daily Report AM for more details.