U.S. Rep. David Vitter
played a key role in obtaining $1.5 million for anti-corruption initiatives in the New Orleans area. Vitter helped secure federal funding from the Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary Appropriations Committee, of which he is vice-chair. The New Orleans Police Department is slated to receive $1.3 million for training and equipment, and $200,000 will go to the Metropolitan Crime Commission's Watchdog Corruption Hotline.
The Krewe du Vieux
upheld the true Carnival spirit when, under the threat of a nasty thunderstorm, it bravely rolled onward in the city's first Mardi Gras parade of the season on Feb. 15. The procession, with floats offering off-color, pun-filled nods to the krewe's "Off the Record" theme, braved buckets of rain to the delight of soaked parade-goers.
The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office
allowed an alarming policy lapse when it sent an accused child rapist to work outside the jail as a trusty. After complaints by the alleged victim's mother, Sheriff Jack Stephens admitted his office gave Greg Laffavillere various jobs outside the jail. Sheriff's office policy forbids accused sex offenders from working as an outside trusty. The office pledged to discipline those responsible for the breach and to tighten the work program's protocols.
Gov. Mike Foster and Commissioner of Administration Mark Drennen
were blasted last week by watchdog groups statewide over the administration's proposed $16 billion operating budget. While technically meeting a legal filing deadline, the plan relies on highly speculative revenues and omits financial obligations. As the Public Affairs Research Council notes, "This is not a time for budget games or gimmickry. The state needs a 'true' budget."