This week on Behind The Lens, reporter Michael Isaac Stein talks to producer and host Tom Wright about recent developments in the Entergy astroturfing scandal.
On Monday, a team of investigators commissioned by the New Orleans City Council released a report on the matter that found that executives at Entergy New Orleans knew or should have known that dozens of people, including some professional actors, were paid to attend City Council meetings and support a proposed power plant in eastern New Orleans.
Later in the week, the City Council voted in favor of a resolution that could result in a $5 million fine against the company.
Then we hear from reporter Kerry Nix about a lead poisoning case in Central City. In 2015, Shawanda Holmes found out her then-two-year-old son was severely lead poisoned. That triggered a state investigation. Investigators told her that the state had already flagged the house for lead, two years earlier. But it was apparently never fixed.
Finally, editor Charles Maldonado talks about The Lens’ public records lawsuit against the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office. The Lens sued in 2017 to get access to about 16 months of bogus subpoenas sent out by the DA’s office. A district court ruled for The Lens. But DA Leon Cannizzaro appealed. Last month, an appeals court affirmed the lower court’s ruling. Now, Cannizzaro wants to take the case to state Supreme Court.
Behind The Lens is available on Apple Podcasts.