The story about Loyola University President Kevin Wildes’ controversial tenure as chairman of the Civil Service Commission would normally carry a simple disclosure that The Lens is located on the campus of Loyola University. However, that’s changing, and I believe we owe our readers a more complete explanation.
The former chairman of Civil Service Commission, whose job was protect rank-and-file workers from political interference, was unusually deferential to Landrieu administration's agenda for years. In some cases, he and an administration official appeared to circumvent the state Open Meetings Law to lobby fellow commissioners.
After the Supreme Court in January struck down a New Orleans ordinance that allowed tax-collection contractors to charge a 10 percent fee on past-due bills, it called into question a similar statewide law — both written by collections contractor Archon Information Systems. The Louisiana Municipal Association is lobbying for the passage of an amendment Tuesday that would make the arrangement unambiguously legal. A subsidiary of the Municipal Association benefits financially from a deal with Archon, and the company is bankrolling the association's political-action committee and has sponsored the association's events.
It took six years for Kimberly James to get Road Home money to rehab her Upper 9th Ward home. This summer, she thought she was months away from inhabiting it. But in July, she learned that the city had demolished the house, concluding that not enough progress had been made in rehabbing it. She says no one told her the house had been targeted for demolition.
The Landrieus' property is across the street from South Market District, a major development expected to boost the surrounding area. Like South Market, the Landrieus' lot is close enough to the Union Passenger Terminal to get a tax break if it's developed. No evidence has emerged to indicate the mayor used his influence to benefit the property, however.