Councilman Jon Johnson’s indictment and abrupt resignation last week caught political observers off guard, but the gist of his wrongdoing was disclosed by my former colleagues at The Lens more than a year ago. The Times-Picayune, which recently announced savage newsroom cuts as part of a transition away from daily print publication, only managed to cover the press conference.
Back in November 2005, while most of us were still wringing out our houses and trying to figure out how to piece our lives back together, Mayor Ray Nagin announced a plan for free Wi-Fi – citywide! But even before Nagin’s tech guru, Greg Meffert, was convicted of corruption, reality had fallen well short of the hype.
By Ariella Cohen, The Lens staff writer |
More than a year after Ray Nagin left City Hall, New Orleans taxpayers are still feeling the pain of thousands of dollars in undocumented credit card purchases made by his administration in its waning days. At least $12,000 in improperly documented purchases were made on city credit cards between January and May 2010, when Mayor Mitch Landrieu took office, the city’s independent financial auditor Joey Richard said this week.
Ask Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration about its frequent failure to comply with public records law and it will tell you that it thinks it’s doing a good job – or, well, a better job than the previous administration under Ray Nagin. Maybe so, but the letter of the law – which requires release of public records within three days of their being requested – is frequently violated.