Monday, March 21, 2005

A Corruptive Culture…

See if you can find the common thread in these two stories. OK, here is my take. State government is viewed as such a big “honeypot” that people take from it with both hands and see nothing wrong about that. Tell me if you think I am overreacting.

Insurance chief gets luxury truck
Fully loaded Harley-Davidson Ford F-250 costs state $40,000

MICHELLE MILLHOLLON in the Advocate reports that the state bought a Harley-Davidson designer edition luxury truck that sports red flames, heated seats and a 6-disc CD player for Insurance Commissioner Robert Wooley. The $40,000 Ford F-250 pickup replaces the 2004 Eddie Bauer-designer edition Ford Expedition that the state bought for Wooley a little more than a year ago.

His spokeswoman, Amy Whittington, said that Wooley simply wanted a new vehicle. "He saw the truck and he liked it and that's the one he wanted to get," she said.

Statewide elected officials are exempt from a law that prohibits most state workers from getting luxury vehicles on the state's dime. Officials can chose a car or a car allowance.

16-year legislative fiscal officer quits
Panel probing his pay, car allowance

Ed Anderson in the T-P reports that even appointed officials got in on the act. Legislative Fiscal Officer Johnny Rombach, whose fiery criticism of state tax and spending practices for the past 16 years frequently rankled lawmakers and governors, resigned Thursday as a legislative committee was probing retroactive pay and a car allowance he gave himself.

Last fall Legislative Auditor Steve Theriot issued a report saying Rombach may have illegally given himself an extra $12,270 in back pay, a $7,200 annual car allowance and thousands of dollars in per diem pay. Rombach said he did not do anything wrong and only granted himself the back pay and other benefits that other state officials have gotten over the years.

"What I did was poor protocol" by not getting the prior authorization of the budget committee, he said.

Is that what they call it now, "protocol?" Here’s a small bonus:

Candidate in arrears on child support
He chases deadbeat parents for DA's office

Frank Donze in the T-P reports that First City Court constable candidate Richard Chambers Jr., a top district attorney's aide who is responsible for investigating and sometimes arresting deadbeat parents, acknowledged Thursday that he is more than $11,000 in arrears on his own child support payments.

Chambers, a former New Orleans police officer who has held the post of chief investigator in the child enforcement division since District Attorney Eddie Jordan took office in January 2003, said in an interview that he does not dispute any of the charges in a lawsuit filed against him March 9 by his ex-wife.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


Anonymous YatPundit said...

I wonder if Chambers' child-support woes are going to get any play in Jordan's federal race-bias trial. What a good way to turn a jury against you than to show one of your lead people is a deadbead dad...

4:15 PM  

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