The Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office net position increased by $356,812 in 2020, according to a financial report released Monday by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor.

However, the ending net position, or deficit, of $10,125,558 for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020 was recorded primarily due to net pension liability, according to auditors.

Net Pension liability is not a debt for the sheriff’s office because it has been set aside in a trust, according to CPSO.

CPSO pays 100 percent of its employee retirement and medical costs.

Additionally, the sheriff’s office reduced its net pension liability by almost $4 million from the previous fiscal year, according to Sheriff David Hedrick and CPSO Chief Financial Officer Tamiko Bloodsaw, while health insurance costs were reduced by $300,000.

The report, prepared by certified public accountant Silas Simmons LLP of Natchez, also includes a sheriff’s office summary of the challenges of 2020 due to COVID-19 and other factors.

Additionally, the report says that employees covered by benefit terms total 160, including 114 active employees and “46 inactive employees or beneficiaries currently receiving benefit payments.”

According to the report, the “ending cash balance for the Concordia Parish Sheriff was $834,920 at June 30,2020, and $964,709 at June 30 ,2019.

“The Sheriff had $12,204,357 in revenues for the year ended June 30, 2020, and $9,921,782 for the year ended June 30, 2019, which primarily consisted of property taxes, grants, prisoner upkeep, and interest income.

“There were $11,847,545 in expenditures, including depreciation of $301,254, for the year ended June 30, 2020, and $10,516,184 in expenditures, including depreciation of 5292,568, for the year ended June 30,2019.”

The sheriff’s office reported:

“As with all businesses, COVID-19 hit the Concordia Parish Sheriff's office hard. The CPSO was forced to make some hard and speedy decisions while dealing with the issues faced during this pandemic. Although revenue increased due to the opening of the Concordia Parish Women's Facility, the CPSO incurred some unforeseen expenses related to COVID testing, sanitation and sterilization, loss wages, increased overtime pay, and shutdown pay.

“The Concordia Parish Women's Facility has been a growing project for the past 2 1/2 years. At its peak during fiscal year 2019-2020, this facility held 200+ female inmates from throughout the state. However, during the first four months of the pandemic, this number decreased drastically due to inmate transfer shutdowns, required inmate quarantines, and mandatory inmate releases. The CPSO was able to maintain all employees during this period and was able to disperse payroll expenses by utilizing employees at other details to offset staff shortages due to COVID.

“This year forced the CPSO to pursue creative avenues to keep our employees, as well as our inmates, safe while continuing to make on-site drug and rehabilitation programs available to our inmates. We continued to pursue intergovernmental support for the continuance of our programs through both federal and state grants. The CPSO opened all classes, as well as the work release program, to our female inmates, thus honoring our mission to rehabilitate those inmates we house.

“The Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office continues to provide approximately 175 jobs to Parish and surrounding Parish residents, and maintains the operations of the Concordia Parish Correctional Facility, Concordia Parish Women's Facility (formerly the Concordia Parish Work Release), as well as the Concordia Parish Sheriff's Office. These jobs include the operation of the criminal, civil, administrative, and correctional divisions. We have also worked to streamline the CPSO benefits offered to its employees as an incentive for future hiring.

“The CPSO staff continues to work to cut costs in efforts to balance the budget. The CPSO has continued to utilize a lease program for all patrol and transport vehicles, which has allowed the CPSO to save money by reducing spending in repair, maintenance, fuel, and upkeep, Credit card collections were implemented online to increase collections in taxes, fines, and fees, A new website has been developed to increase online payments, as well as keeping the public abreast of Sheriff office activity.”

According to the Statement of Revenues, Expenditures and Changes in Fund Balance-Governmental Fund, revenue for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, revenues totaled $12,204,357, including, ad valorem taxes, $2,746,270; federal correctional grants, $13,331; federal public safety grants, $102,661; state revenue sharing, $125,452; state supplementary pay, $453,970; state grants, correctional, $495,338; state public safety grants, $31,678; mowing contract, $370,836; miscellaneous, $157,603; fines and forfeitures, $55,979; civil and criminal fees, $141,730; feeding and keeping of prisoners, jail, $147,721; feeding and keeping prisoners, correctional facility, $7,042,734; telephone commissions, correctional facility, $311,953 and interest income, $7,101.

Expenditures totaled $12,212,895, including personnel services and related benefits, $3,238,160; operating services, $1,019,936; materials and supplies, $162,239; travel and other charges, $15,683; capital outlay, $36,919; correctional facility personnel services and related benefits, $5,172,722; correctional facility operating services, $2,171,540; correctional facility materials and supplies, $262,758; correctional facility capital outlay, $36,064; gas mowing operating services, $70,772; and grass mowing materials and supplies, $26,102.

The result was a deficit of $8,538.

Yearend fund balance totaled $2,461,939.

There were no findings in the audit.

Sheriff David Hedrick’s schedule of compensation, reimbursements, benefits and other payments totaled $222,453, including salary, $145,762; benefits insurance, $8,251; benefits retirement, $42,410; deferred compensation, $10,652; expense allowance, $14,576; cell phone, $582; and registration fees, $220.

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