October 17, 2018

do the math

Jobs You Wish You Had: The New Orleans Court Accountant Who Made $661,000 Last Year

That’s not a typo, people, this guy made $661,000 in 2010 for services rendered to the New Orleans traffic court.


Vandale Thomas, a personal friend of Judge Robert Jones, billed the traffic court over $660,000 in 2010 for entire chunks of hours with zero description of what those hours entail. “There’s just aggregations of hours. Forty-five hours for this, 45 hours for that. And that’s it. On that basis, we paid, the courts paid $661,000 to this guy. We’ll be talking to people to try to make sure where the money went and what it was for,” New Orleans inspector general Ed Quatrevaux told local WWLTV.

On top of his billable hours, Thomas also was handed $100,000 from traffic court with no mention of what the fee was for in court records.

Well, let’s do the math (keeping in mind while we do it that I am anything but a mathlete). If Thomas billed $40 per hour (pulling that number out of my ass, much like Thomas likely pulled his hours), he’d have to work a little over 317 hours a week to validate a $660,000 salary for the year. The problem with that, of course, is that there are only 168 hours in a week. According to documents obtained by WWLTV, Thomas is billing $80 an hour, therefore by that math, he’d have to work 20 hour days every single day of the week for every week of the year to earn the $661,000 he billed.

Judge Jones, when confronted with the dollar amount of Thomas’ services, expressed shock, telling WWLTV he then called in Thomas and told him “unless you have an army of accountants working for you around the clock, this is humanly impossible.” Jones went on to say he supports an investigation of Thomas, but doesn’t think it will show any criminal wrongdoing.

I know armies of accountants and they don’t make that kind of money.