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Things Are Getting Back to Normal in New Orleans

The Orleans Levee Board is the organization responsible for making sure that New Orleans does not flood. To say their job performance has been questioned lately would be to put it mildly. But in the middle of it all we get this....

Levee Board chief got thousands in back pay
Opinions differ on his eligibility

Less than a month before Hurricane Katrina wrecked the Orleans Levee Board's finances and left the levees it maintains in shambles, board President Jim Huey requested and got nearly $100,000 in back pay that the agency's hired legal advisers - one of whom is a relative of his wife- determined he was entitled to receive.

The payment for about $96,000, which was made without approval from the board or its staff attorney, came on the advice of Gerard Metzger and George Carmouche, two contract lawyers with close ties to Huey, who was originally appointed by former Gov. Edwin Edwards in 1992 and reappointed by Govs. Mike Foster and Kathleen Blanco. Carmouche, of Baton Rouge, is a first cousin of Huey's wife, Becky Metzger of Metairie, and has been a close friend of Huey's since the two attended high school together at Holy Cross.

After cursory research, board officials indicated several months ago that Huey, who has no formal administrative duties, was not eligible for any compensation beyond the $75 per diem that board members can receive for each day they work on agency business.

State lawmakers also rejected the extra pay for Huey. In the waning hours of the Legislature's 2005 session, state Sen. Francis Heitmeier, a Huey ally, tried unsuccessfully to make Huey eligible for a $60,000 annual salary by inserting the pay provision into an unrelated piece of legislation.

Well, life really is getting back to normal in New Orleans. When people ask me; "Do you think New Orleans will ever be like it once was?" my standard answer is, "Geeze I hope not."


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Comments (9)

Hope someone digs into all ... (Below threshold)

Hope someone digs into all the corruption & waste of the levee money by the political hacks of LA. & makes it so public that the media will have to report it.

Yeah, me, too.What... (Below threshold)

Yeah, me, too.

What seems to have been the case is that LA electeds have enjoyed for too long a "separate but separate and distant, too" relationship with any and all outside their locales...and sorta honed up to their own closed society standards, which, when compared with others through newly necessary interactions, have come up way short of what's required.

That just means: yeah, me, too.

"Geeze I hope not."U... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

"Geeze I hope not."
Unfortunately, I don't think you will get your wish fulfilled. As long La. continues to select leaders such as Blanco, Nagin, the Landriaux(sp?) family, etc. they will be destined to endure political corruption and abject ineptitude of leadership.
Then there is the social behavior of certain groups of citizens before and after Katrina inflicted its damage. You can't go there in a public forum, the PC police will be after you quicker than the NOPD can help loot a Walmart.
Compare and contrast the actions of the Texas public officals with La. public officals before and after the hurricanes and you can see a stark contrast of leadership between the two. I realize the situations are different as to the locales and type damage inflicted, but good basic leadership should have been displayed in both situations.
In Texas, the public officals were clear, concise and appeared to have an awareness of the situation. In La., Blanco appeared to have no clue(ever see at deer staring at you in the headlights?), no plan, except for a ready accusation that Federal officals were completely to blame. As for Nagin, he appeared to be a nut case, cursing, hiding and making more bad decisions than Michael Moore at the "all you can eat buffet."
My heart goes out to the good people of NO for enduring the hurricane and the dregs of political leadership.

Paul: Maybe you should run ... (Below threshold)
Madfish Willie:

Paul: Maybe you should run a spell checker on this post... especially after going after Chad below as a "spell-lame"????

Well, I don't know about th... (Below threshold)

Well, I don't know about the government, but other things are certainly getting back to "normal" down there:

Things getting back to normal in the Big Easy

The best thing that the cit... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

The best thing that the citizens of New Orleans can do is to vote their inpept mayor out next year

Brousard responds. Go ahead... (Below threshold)

Brousard responds. Go ahead, attack the victim, I bet it makes you feel better, safer, more secure.


Things Are Getting Back ... (Below threshold)

Things Are Getting Back to Normal in New Orleans

Paul, you have my deepest sympathy.

Eh.Graft in New Or... (Below threshold)


Graft in New Orleans.

Dog bites man.






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