Vehicles: Legislature faces tough task

State Auditor Stacey Pickering, whose office is investigating claims of abuse of state cars, admitted he has used a state car in the past to travel from his Laurel home to Jackson and back – but says it’s only for security’s sake or state business.

A Clarion-Ledger investigation of the use of state vehicles has revealed some holes in the system that leave room for abuse of taxpayer funds. The probe has raised questions about use of a “24/7” state vehicles assigned to some state employees,

State law forbids state employees from driving cars for personal use. Pickering denies any use was personal. “We are very careful to follow the Department of Finance and Administration guidelines on the personal use of a vehicle,” he said. “Even when I run my kids in the carpool, I take them in the truck and drive back to the house before picking up the state vehicle.”

Clarion-Ledger
8/23/10