At least 10 Louisiana correctional employees helped renovate the private home of Burl Cain, the storied former warden of the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, and one of them did so mostly while on the clock at his regular state job over a period of 21 days, says the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office, The Advocate reports. The audit comes a little more than a year after Cain resigned, ending a two-decade tenure at the helm of Louisiana’s biggest prison. It underscored his reputation for landing himself in ethically compromised positions.
Along with free state labor, the audit alleges that Cain used his position to help himself to a variety of benefits, including free appliances and furnishings, a refurbished set of iron gates, and free food and lodging at Angola for a handful of relatives. Cain and others may have broken the law in several instances, auditors conclude. Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc, Cain’s longtime friend, former boss and business partner, seemed to agree with those findings, saying that Cain is “personally liable” for the costs of the food, lodging, and gates. LeBlanc’s response letter to the audit says the department will seek to recoup the value of those items — nearly $20,000 — through a civil suit, or through restitution if Cain is criminally prosecuted. Cain’s lawyer, former U.S. Attorney L.J. Hymel, said he believes “many of the report’s findings of fact and legal conclusions are in error.”