It is reminiscent of the situation which state Rep. Patrick Williams found himself in during the Shreveport mayor’s race when it was revealed that he double-dipped on his expenses as a state legislator.
Investigations by various websites and media outlets allege that Cassidy continued to draw a salary from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSU-HSC) despite fulfilling less than half of the agreed upon work.
There is also the question whether he misled the House Ethics Committee on both the nature of his role and the hours involved.
The investigative reports, first broken by the websites The American Zombie and CenLamar, have now been picked up and are being pursued by local and national media, including The Times-Picayune, The Advocate, WWL-TV New Orleans, The Hill newspaper, ABC News, and the NOLA Defender.
After being elected to Congress in 2008, Cassidy agreed to a reduction in salary to $20,000 a year at LSU-HSC for 30 hours of work each month. LSU also paid for Cassidy’s medical malpractice insurance, continuing education, and licensing fees that can easily be in the thousands, according to the reports.
The investigations allege that Cassidy’s role at LSU-HSC raises serious legal and ethical questions and suggest that he may have been in open violation of the House Ethics Committee’s guidelines and grossly overcompensated for his work at LSU.
The timing of the revelations couldn’t be worse for Cassidy, who has been leading in the polls with 53% of the vote in the runoff with incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.
The two were scheduled for the only debate of the runoff Monday night (Dec. 1) on WVUE-FOX 8 in New Orleans and Landrieu has demanded that Cassidy bring all of his time sheets to the debate to settle the issue.
The debate was scheduled to be televised on KSLA News 12, as well as streamed live on ksla.com and the KSLA News 12 app.