Audit: LA Sheriff's Department managers misused aircraft for personal use

A Los Angeles Sheriff's Department helicopter.
A Los Angeles Sheriff's Department helicopter.
Photo by Thomas Hart via Flickr Creative Commons

An audit has found that Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department managers improperly used the department's aircraft for personal use.

The Los Angeles Times reports that a county audit found officials used a helicopter to give a commander's daughter a ride to a party.

In another instance, a department airplane was used to fly to Connecticut, racking up a $35,000 bill for a flight that was likely slower than taking a commercial flight.

The audit was prompted by a Times report about allegations officials were abusing aircraft privileges to delay emergency calls and make a case for more overtime pay.

The audit didn't find evidence to support those claims or evidence time sheets were manipulated, leading department spokesman Steve Whitmore to tell the newspaper that the audit was an "exoneration" because the most serious allegations were unsubstantiated.