Government & Politics
Mutual back-scratching by former, current St. Charles DAs raises questions, watchdog says — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | The T-P is digging in to the powerful Morel family in St. Charles Parish with a slew of stories in recent days. Reporter Juliet Linderman writes that longtime District Attorney Harry Morel returned to the parish payroll only a day after he retired and began collecting his pension, with the help of his successor, Joel Chaisson, whose brother was hired by Morel. The details and suspicious coincidences of the merry-go-round raise red flags.
St. Charles judge urged to recuse self from case linked to probe of her father, former DA — NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune | Speaking of coincidences:
The state attorney general has asked St. Charles Parish Judge Michele Morel to recuse herself from a case in her courtroom with connections to an FBI probe into her father, former St. Charles Parish District Attorney Harry Morel. Sources have said Harry Morel is under federal investigation for allegedly trading leniency for accused criminals for sexual favors while in office.
In case you missed this weekend story: Woman involved in FBI probe into former St. Charles DA found dead —NOLA.com | “A woman who might have played a key role in an ongoing federal investigation into former St. Charles Parish District Attorney Harry Morel was found dead Saturday morning, less than 24 hours after a story about the Morel probe was published by NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune. “
JUNEAU: The Lesser Known Tax Reform Proposals — The Hayride | Political analyst lauds two of Gov. Jindal’s (presumed) tax plan proposals that have received little attention thus far. The first is for a single state and local sales tax commission which would streamline the collection process and provide the taxpayer “with one collection interface.” The other administrative tax reform proposal is for an “independent tax court” that would add consistency and uniformity on state tax cases.
OPSB backs off plans to nullify contracts of top 2 administrators | The Lens
Tuesday night, the Orleans Parish School Board voted to revise its contract with interim superintendent Stan Smith, but failed to approve a motion to cancel its contract with deputy superintendent Kathleen Padian, the system’s top charter school administrator.
Two months late, state provides records on standardized test cheating — The Lens | Our story seemed to hasten the Louisiana Department of Education’s compliance with public records law.
History of the St. Aloysius High School in New Orleans — GoNOLA.com | A nice read for alums and all the rest of us.
Bayou Corne residents push for home buyout | The Advocate
On the 200th day of their mandatory evacuation, Assumption Parish residents asked legislators for help Tuesday in persuading Texas Brine Co. LLC to buy homes affected by an 8.6-acre sinkhole. Bayou Corne homeowner Candy Blanchard said she will never again feel safe in the house she built six years ago. “Texas Brine has taught me more about purgatory and limbo, and I went to Catholic school, than the nuns could,” Blanchard said. In response, legislators pressed Texas Brine officials for their position on buyouts. The company said it is in conversations with its insurance carrier.
BP Lawyers Hunker Down for Big Oozy Trial as Settlement Forecast Dims | NOLA DEFENDER – BP “is sending signals this week that they’re ready to go to trial with the U.S. government and let a judge decide how much the company will have to pay for the 2010 Gulf oil disaster.”
Can Police Be Trusted With Drones? | Mother Jones
Alameda County [in California] isn’t the only place where drones have encountered a backlash. Earlier this month, the Seattle Police Department grounded two drones it had purchased in response to privacy concerns, and Charlottesville, Virginia, became the first American city to ban drone flights within city limits. California and 19 other states are considering legislation that would set standards for drone use. And last week, federal lawmakers introduced legislation that would prohibit domestic drones from being armed.
Previously, The Lens reported that City Hall officials desire a drone and the NOPD previously attempted to purchase a drone with federal grant money.
New retrial dates set for ex-cops in Katrina case — New Orleans CityBusiness | Retrials for NOPD officers charged in the fatal post-Katrina shooting of Henry Glover will be held in August and September.
delanceyplace.com – the great urban renaissance | The website excerpts a quote from Alan Ehrenhalt’s 2012 book, “The Great Inversion.” Here’s a taste: “We are living at a moment in which the massive outward [suburban] migration of the affluent that characterized the second half of the twentieth century is coming to an end. And we need to adjust our perceptions of cities, suburbs, and urban mobility as a result.”
An Example of Urban Farming Done Right – Neighborhoods – The Atlantic Cities | Example of an “ethical, sustainable” urban farm to combat food deserts.
Vitter fighting environmental lawsuit settlements he says are unfair to property owners — NOLA.com | “But he said through “secret settlements with environmental groups, the administration is advancing a “much more radical, aggressive agenda,” that doesn’t measure the true cost of limitations on land use to property owners.”