Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Factual Statement? Depends on the definition of crossover.

Leaky roof leads to fallen sheet rock leads to ... ultimately, less computer time. More links and detail may be provided later.
The two worlds have collided at times, with Collins conducting private deals with firms that also have had business relationships with the city. Such crossover, one former Nagin administrator said, has always been forbidden by the mayor.

Dambala is the man (or zombie) to see for more dirt on Ernest Collins than the Picayune was prepared to provide Monday, but I wanted to comment on the statement that I cited by an unnamed former Nagin administrator.

If, by such crossover, the unnamed former administrator meant that Nagin has always forbidden city officials to own any interest in firms that have business relationships with the city, he may be correct. But any such rule has always been narrow in spirit.

Soon after Nagin took office, his brother-in-law,Cedric Smith, demanded a piece of Glen Haydel's firm that managed the RTA. Of course, Cedric Smith wasn't a city official and Nagin was angered and embarrassed by Smith's action. He was so angry that his re-election campaign paid Smith a thirty thousand dollar consulting fee and Nagin invited Smith to be a featured speaker at his second inauguration.

Technically speaking, I'm aware of no such crossover involving Charles Rice. For example, Charles Rice wasn't a partner in the firm that was awarded a contract for bombproof garbage cans, his brother was. There was the debris removal contract that went to a firm that hired Charles Rice, but Rice left the city to work for OMNI Pinnacle. So, I guess there was no such crossover.

With time, I could come up with more examples of (not quite) such crossover, but I'll conclude with the special example of Billboard Ben Edwards. As an appointed member of the Sewerage & Water Board, he should be independent of the mayor until his term expires. But he's not independent of the mayor because his term has expired:
Meanwhile, Edwards, executive director of the 9th Ward's Third Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, is staying on with the understanding he could be removed at any time, Nagin said. That should keep the sometimes controversial member, who has a reputation for meddling in the board's day-to-day operations, in line with the administration for now.

Edwards isn't listed as an owner of MCCI, his running partner, O.C. Coleman, is. However "B. Edwards" appeared on many of the invoices that MCCI submitted for payment on work done for the city. I don't know if FEMA is still refusing to reimburse the cash-strapped S&WB for work done by MCCI.

If Collins proves to be a political liability, but not a legal problem, for the mayor, expect to hear all about the entertainment industry sharpie who took advantage of the mayor and put the first stain in his spotless record. Don't believe it.

amen and amen
"Leaky roof leads to fallen sheet rock leads to ... ultimately, less computer time."

I understand that part.

But unfortunately I'm only slowly getting up to speed on this thing about Collins. Thanks to you and Dambala for the excellent missionary work.
Oh, no! Sorry about the roof.
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