Update: City Council President Arnie Fielkow has asked New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux to investigate the missing $16.7 million from the city’s Urban Development Action Grant program, he said Thursday.
After a month of investigation, City Hall officials have failed to find documentation of $16.7 million loaned by previous administrations to private businesses but never repaid, Deputy Mayor of Facilities, Infrastructure, and Community Development Cedric Grant told members of the City Council.
The information is “a lot harder to find” than other financial records, Grant said at a meeting of the City Council Budget Committee on Wednesday afternoon.
At the committee’s previous meeting in May, Grant told members he would make a report in June on the missing money, which was loaned over the past two decades from the city’s Urban Development Action Grant fund for projects that were supposed to generate jobs and tax revenue for the city. That promise was made at the behest of Council President Fielkow, who has consistently called for more transparent accounting of the fund and currently chairs the Budget Committee. Fielkow asked Grant about the report after an unrelated presentation by the deputy mayor. “This money could be used in significant ways,” Fielkow said. “We expect to see a report at the next meeting.”
Grant said that he would try to have the report complete for the next convening of the committee.
“I have worked with staff to get the documentation and we are still working,” he said.