Newcomers to this site may not be aware that before there was The Lens there was a blog called Squandered Heritage. With help from a wee band of fellow zealots, I devoted Squandered Heritage to the task of chronicling the parlous state of the built environment in New Orleans post-Katrina, with particular attention to the city’s priceless residential architecture.
By Karen Gadbois, The Lens staff writer |
Appearing Thursday in federal court before Judge Nannette Jolivette-Brown, former New Orleans Affordable Homeownership contractor Earl Myers changed his plea from not guilty to guilty of conspiring to commit theft of federal funds. Until the city agency was shut down in November, New Orleans Affordable Homeownership, also known as NOAH, operated as a non-profit and accepted federal funds to address blight.
As expected, a one-time city contractor facing federal charges in a Nagin-era kickback scheme is cooperating with investigators and is set to plead guilty next week, according to his attorney and U.S. Attorney Jim Letten’s office. Earl Myers, who ran Myers & Sons and Excel Development contracting services, stands accused of collecting more money than he earned from a city agency — the New Orleans Affordable Homeownership Program — for post-Katrina remediation work, and then returning some of the money to the city official who doled out the work, according to government court filings.