Louisiana lawmakers pick new auditor to inspect finances

Louisiana

Senate President Page Cortez presides over opening day of the Louisiana legislative session in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, April 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana has a new legislative auditor to lead the nonpartisan office that reviews the financial books of government agencies.

The House and Senate voted Monday to name Mike Waguespack, a former Assumption Parish sheriff, to the position. Waguespack, a certified public accountant, was sheriff for 16 years and has been on the Louisiana Tax Commission since 2016.

The House voted 97-0 for his appointment, and the Senate vote was 38-0.

“I can’t thank you enough. I’ll make you proud. I’ll work hard each and every day,” Waguespack told senators after his election.

He’ll take over the job vacated by Daryl Purpera, who retired in March after nearly 11 years as the auditor and nearly four decades in state government.

The auditor oversees a staff of accountants and investigators who review the books of more than 3,500 state and local government units and affiliated entities. State law requires that the legislative auditor must be a certified public accountant and receive approval from the House and Senate.

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