SHREVEPORT, La. -- Mayor Adrian Perkins is "happy" to pay back some of his car allowance from 2019. That's the word from his spokesman after the city's internal auditor found that Perkins "was not in compliance" when he received the benefit.
City code says the mayor can take a car allowance, or take a city provided vehicle instead. The city owns a Dodge SUV that was purchased by the Tyler administration for use by the mayor.
But Mayor Perkins took both in 2019. The auditor found that Perkins drove the city-owned Dodge "on a daily basis," though the vehicle was not formally assigned to him by the CAO until half-way through the year.
So the auditor says Perkins should pay $2,700 -- or half of the $5,400 lump sum car allowance the mayor received for the full year 2019.
The audit also says the mayor received two opinions saying he was entitled to the full year's allowance retroactively. So how did the mayor's top staff get it wrong? We asked the mayor's spokesman.
"There were several people -- none on the same page. And I think that the mayor never signed for a car. Was never exclusively using a car. The car that is listed as his take home car, for example, during the time in question, I used it three or four days in a row myself," Ben Riggs said. "I don't think that it was altogether clear to anyone exactly what the mayor's intentions were, what he was wanting to do with the car allowance, or taking a car. So there was just confusion and misunderstanding."
Riggs says the mayor now takes a monthly $450 car allowance and drives his personal car. The mayor's staff now uses the city-owned Dodge.