The KTBS story and report on theft of federal food funds as well as monetary mismanagement in the food services program has generated requests for school records and explanations from CPSB leadership, including Superintendent Goree. However, attorney for CPSB Reggie Abrams addressed the issue, according to one board member, by suggesting that NO future internal audits be released to the public.The 2013 audit notes significant issues (section of troubles in audit) that have never been properly addressed. Perhaps Abrams wants these to just “vanish.” [Complete 2012 &2013 audit here & here]
Abrams indicated that since these audits were internal in nature, the public has no right to view them. He further explained to board members, who cannot go on the record due to the policy that the board has to “speak with one voice,” that comments not vetted by the whole board only inflame the public, regardless of factual accuracy.
My question is why would Abrams expect any other reaction when all facts to date, including the video and story from KTBS, reflect mismanagement, poor judgement and outright theft (more…)
Add comment September 29, 2014 1:46 pm
It isn’t every day that such an admission is publicly pronounced by a political party official. In this article in Politico by Anna Palmer and Manu Raju, the top guy at the Louisiana Democratic Party is quoted as he explains Senator Mary Landrieu’s re-election chances:
“In Louisiana, Democrats believe their best shot at emerging victorious in the race is to win outright in November, taking advantage of a split between Cassidy and his main conservative foe, tea party challenger Rob Maness.
‘The only pathway Republicans have to victory is through a runoff. We have a pathway to victory without a runoff that’s just it,’ said Louisiana Democratic Party Executive Director Stephen Handwerk.
The runoff — which would presumably (more…)
Add comment September 28, 2014 12:05 pm
There is an old saying in politics that if you are not taking shots from opponents (and political critics), then you must not be doing a good job. Put another way, if you are getting some hits then you must do be doing many things well. Such is the case with Patrick William who plans on being Shreveport’s next mayor.
Williams is a new face to many politicos and citizens alike, despite his prior service as a Caddo Commissioner and now as state representative from the MLK area.
That, plus his determination to be a positive agent for change, has upset many established political power bases and constituencies. And to top it off, Williams has NOT promised jobs in his administration to curry political favor.
There’s no doubt that Williams has upset the traditional “I will scratch your back if you scratch mine” mentality of Shreveport politics; its quite apparent that the old guard Shreveport business and (more…)
Add comment September 25, 2014 3:00 pm
Property tax winds are blowing yet again in Shreveport and Caddo, now from our Caddo Parish School Board. To put such taxation in context, this report contains new research comparing taxes in Caddo / Shreveport to other areas in Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas.
The administration and board are now at work deciding when to schedule their move, and what to put on the ballot when they do. A mix of renewals are coming due before we know it, and an early CPSB miscue could taint them all.
New Superintendent T. Lamar Goree is off to a positive, hopeful start, with perhaps several new school board members also coming aboard in November / December elections. Regardless, a “Give us the money!” tax renewal campaign would dash hope of reform.
(As I explained during the recent Caddo Commission tax (more…)
Add comment September 21, 2014 6:39 pm
It’s seldom that i disagree publicly with members of the fourth estate. Besides preferring to focus our energy on reporting on the myriad ways state government falls short of its number one priority of protecting the interests of the state and its citizens, we generally have a deep professional respect for our peers in the media.
I worked for 30-plus years in various capacities—sports reporter, news reporter, copy editor, investigative reporter and managing editor—for several newspapers all over the state, including Monroe, Shreveport, Donaldsonville, Baton Rouge and four separate stints at the Ruston Daily Leader where I began almost 50 years ago. I kept returning at a higher position mostly because of my (more…)
Add comment September 20, 2014 12:09 pm
The City Council races in the November 4 ballot could put 5 new faces on Shreveport’s legislative body; all council races are contested except for District C (Oliver Jenkins) and District D (Mike Corbin). Willie Bradford (District A) and Billy Wayne (District G) clearly stand out as the most qualified in the big field of candidates seeking a seat on the Council.
Bradford is challenging Rose Wilson-McCullough who is seeking reelection. The daughter of a highly respected civic leader, Rose has proven to be a disappointment to her district much like her prior service on the Caddo Commission. McCullough’s biggest accomplishment is dedicating most of street bond revenue money to the repairing of the avenue named after her dad.
District A encompasses the entire Cooper Road area (now known as Martin Luther King Drive area), North Highlands, Cherokee Park, and a portion of Cross Lake. This minority district is one of the poorest areas of the (more…)
Add comment September 18, 2014 3:00 pm
Political commentary peaks the interest on some casual observers, yet it strikes fear in some who are defensive of candidates whose election will determine their paycheck of the influence they have in monies expensed by the system. It still goes back to the saying: “bite that hand that feeds you, and you won’t eat very well.” Citizens, particularly those who vote, must admit that their democratic right to vote is being manipulated by too many whose seat at the table needs to be questioned. Blame and guilt now seem to be the driving force for at least one of the front runners in the mayoral race.
What I observe in the “Double-Dip” controversy of Patrick Williams is just like the Mary Landrieu travel expenditure complaint. If you complain about one candidate, i.e. as the Tea Party is of Mary Landrieu, you can’t turn around and forgive Patrick Williams for seemingly the same submission for reimbursements for the same expense to two separate reimbursement sources – FOR FULL REIMBURSEMENTS.
Paying attention to discussion of the mayoral campaign, voters must certainly recognize that (more…)
Add comment September 16, 2014 10:54 am
State Rep. and mayoral candidate Patrick Williams says it is not his fault that he double-billed his expenses as a state legislator – getting reimbursed by both his campaign account and the taxpayers.
The word has been out for a while about his double-billing in The Times, here in the Fax-Net, and on websites, but KTBS-TV put an exclamation point to the situation with its investigative report on Sunday night.
Michael Wainwright, a former Shreveport attorney who was also a former assistant U.S. attorney, first brought Williams’ double-dipping activities to light. His investigation alleges that in the two years he looked at, Williams double-dipped to the tune of $8,000.
KTBS looked only at 2012 and determined that, for that year, he double-dipped 45 times for $4,021.88. The details can be found at KTBS.com.
Williams blames an assistant for the illegal activities and says (more…)
Add comment September 15, 2014 3:21 pm
Hopefully the Shreveport voters will do what the Louisiana Judiciary Commission has failed to do – – remove Shreveport City Judge Sheva Sims from the Judicial bench. Myles qualified to run against Sims for Shreveport City Court, Division D; Sims is seeking re-elections after serving her first (partial) term on the bench.
Sims was elected as Shreveport City Judge in 2011, winning a close election against Shante’ Wells; she has previously conducted unsuccessful races for the Shreveport City Council.
Sims had a checkered legal career before her election to judgeship. As a practicing attorney, Sims was notorious for being late to court, and many attorneys reported that she was frequently ill-prepared for court cases.
As a sitting Judge, Sims has had her challenges, to say the least. (more…)
Add comment September 11, 2014 3:00 pm
It’s expected for political operatives to be extremely defensive of their candidates and their system. After all, you never bite that hand that feeds you, intentionally. However, now is the time to admit to citizens, and particularly those who chose to exercise their democratic right to vote, that the system has been well manipulated by the puppet masters all along. September 9th Mayoral Forum(View Here) that featured two of the six candidates seemed to be quite well manipulated. Lots of excuses for why only two appeared, and plenty of blame to go around for that.
What I saw was well-rehearsed, since the script was written days in advance. With questions provided several days before the format was tedious and non-responsive as far as “debate style” as one would expect. Well-read by Tyler and acted by Williams, as he stood on cue to deliver lines. I learned nothing new, except that it appears handlers are chomping at the bit to get control of city services and purse strings. And, here’s the rub.
Anyone who pays attention to city government must certainly recognize that there are great gaps in the funds collected to run city services and the actual services provided. This gap I will call the “political shrinkage” or the cost of paying for those who bring you the (more…)
Add comment September 10, 2014 10:26 am