Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Q: What do the RTA and NOAH have in common?

I'm not counting the fact that both were in today's news, because they appeared in different media.

A: Nagin's Billy Carter brother-in-law Cedric Smith. From tonight's WWL report:
The fourth highest-paid contractor, S&A Construction earned $137,000 in the home remediation program. According to Secretary of State records, the owner of S&A Construction is Nagin's brother-in-law, Cedric Smith.

I'm sure that this was just another business venture that Smith was "seduced" into:
While Haydel has said Smith approached him about the deal, Smith says it was the other way around. In fact, Smith alleges that Haydel and other Morial allies came looking for him and methodically seduced him into signing the agreement.
The sale price appears to be way out of line considering that Metro and its subcontractors have been paid nearly $7 million by the RTA since Haydel acquired the firm shortly after Morial took office in 1994.
Under the contract he signed with Haydel on Aug. 29, Smith, who has never worked in the transit industry, was guaranteed an annual salary of $300,000 and a year-end bonus of 70 percent of Metro's profits.

Well, it does sound pretty seductive. It also makes you wonder how much experience Smith has in home remediation since Smith went from mass transit in 2002, to campaign consulting in 2006, to home remediation in 2008.

I'll recap some of the things that I've written about Nagin, Smith and the local media before. Nobody thought it odd that the innocent Nagin was shocked when he learned of Smith's involvement with the RTA in November 2002, even though the wise Nagin had warned him away from the deal in October 2002. In fairness, he claimed that he was surprised because he had told Smith not to buy the interest. However, nobody questioned Nagin's claim to have thought he had successfully warned Smith away from the deal and later claim to have not known about the deal until the details became public. Later, when he invited Smith to speak at his second inauguration, nobody remembered that Nagin had previously let it be known that he considered Smith an embarrassment. Likewise, nobody remembered Nagin's supposed anger at Smith when it came to light that Nagin's cash-strapped campaign had paid Smith a $20,000 consulting fee during the 2006 mayoral election. It should be totally believable if Nagin claims to have been surprised and embarrassed by Smith's work for NOAH.

Great Score! Escellent!
I had totally forgotten that Cedrick went back that far. Oh man.
Way to go.
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