Vandale Thomas Has Other Big Paydays From City!!
Infamous Traffic Court Accountant Vandale Thomas enjoyed more than one payday while he was getting paid by Traffic Court $750,000 for work during 2010. Thomas worked on a couple of contracts under accounting firm Pailet, Meunier and LeBlanc, which charged the city $243,000 for Thomas’ hours from the start of 2010 through mid 2011.
Thomas also worked for the City Council’s Utilities Regulatory Office. They billed $150 an hour for work the firm said Thomas did under a separate contract covering a variety of city accounting work. It also billed $198.75 an hour for work Thomas did under a separate contract covering more city accounting.
Thomas did consulting and “meeting prep” work according to the invoices. He also worked with the city’s disadvantaged business enterprise program.
The hours logged raise big doubts as Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux’s office continues to investigate Thomas’ billings and other Traffic Court problems following his scathing Traffic Court report.
The four Traffic Court judges all wrote checks to Thomas, though Chief Administrative Judge Jones wrote the most. As I’ve mentioned before, Thomas was Jones’ campaign manager.
Thomas has acknowledged billing Traffic Court far above his contract amount, but he claims he never over-billed (??) and gave no kickbacks to the Traffic Court judges.
In 2010, Thomas billed Traffic Court for 7, 756.5 hours, while the accounting firm credited him with 1,195.5 hours on its invoices to the city. That equals 24.5 hours a day, 365 days a year. In December, Thomas give the Times-Picayune federal tax forms showing he paid out $62,000 in 2010 to four people to help him with the Traffic Court work. He paid them $15-20/hour for the labor, while billing Traffic Court his usual $80 hour rate.
If you remove those hours, Thomas was working 100 hour weeks, according to the invoices.
Of course, Traffic Court is supposed to give some of their funds to the Indigent Defender Office, which they haven’t for a while, forcing the Indigent Defender Office to lay off attorneys, putting the Criminal Court system in some danger.