Investigators from the Louisiana Office of Inspector General showed up at town hall Thursday and gathered up paper records and computer files from 2009 dealing with traffic tickets.
Mayor Sherbin Collette told TecheToday that since he has been mayor, the Town of Henderson has had a policy against writing tickets for violations less than 10 mph over the posted limit.
"We never wanted to be known as a speed trap," Collette said.
The Speed Trap Reform Bill was aimed at keeping small towns from padding their budgets by issuing minor speeding tickets on interstate highways. The Legislative Auditor had found fifteen municipalities deriving over half of their budgets from speeding tickets.
Police in Washington, on I-49, which was often cited as an especially active Louisiana speed trap, told TecheToday they are not currently under investigation by the state.
The town's audits have always come out clean, he said.
Since the town annexed a strip of the interstate 2005, fines and forfeitures have become the town’s main source of income, reaching over $800,000 last year. Just last week the Town Council proposed significantly increasing speeding fines.
The rumor in town is that the inspector general's office ordered the town to stop enforcing traffic laws on I-10, but Police Chief Leroy Guidry told TecheToday that's not true. Guidry said he took it upon himself to halt enforcement on I-10 while the investigation is ongoing.
State Inspector General Stephen B. Street Jr. would neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.