Friday, September 26, 2008

It wasn't a false report

Since nobody else bothered to report it, I was beginning to wonder whether this WDSU report about Nagin and Meffert being sued by Southern Electronics was erroneous. Apparently, it wasn't. The Nagin administration is using litigation with Southern Electronics as an excuse to avoid answering questions from the city council:
Most of Monday's meeting was held in closed session because Southern Electronics' lawsuit against the city was on the agenda.

But Head said the private discussion held under the cloak of executive session had little if anything to do with the lawsuit and should have been in the open.

She also said that administrators at the meeting, including lawyers and purchasing agents, appeared shocked upon hearing of the payments to Ciber.

At least one of her colleagues was surprised as well.

"Jesus, Mary and Joseph, " said Councilwoman Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, after being told the gist of the letter. "Every time we ask questions, it's, 'you know, we're in litigation.' "

Gordon Russell's article about the crime camera contract covers much more than the lawsuit, but, as far as I can tell, that's the first time that the Times Picayune has mentioned the lawsuit.

Not that I expect anybody to care about my changing attitudes toward the local media, but I had decided to stop being so knee-jerk in my criticisms last July. I've been pretty ticked off since Gustav, but I've tried to show some restraint. That said, I don't think these June posts were angry enough. The mayor "takes responsibility" for problems with the crime cameras but says that it wasn't really his fault because the vendor walked off the job. The vendor reacts by suing the city, but, with one exception, the city's news outlets ignore the lawsuit. However, the city's editorial and op-ed writers do praise the mayor for "taking responsibility." Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

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