Sunday, February 08, 2009

Cerasoli resigns ...

Some of the material in this article is extracted from stories by the Times-Picayune, Cerasoli resigns and temporary replacement named:

One more force for good has been beaten by the corrupt New Orleans governmental system. Last week we profiled Bob Cerasoli, the city’s first inspector general. We were excited that there was finally someone looking at questionable practices, employee incompetence and opportunities for abusing the trust of the New Orleans citizenry.

Cerasoli, the veteran Massachusetts investigator who navigated a maze of bureaucracy and politics to found the office, has resigned, ostensibly to reunite with his family and prepare for surgery to remove potentially dangerous growths. While these are certainly valid reasons for leaving, there is still the feeling that, even though he felt me was making a difference, the obstacles erected by the Ray Nagin (pictured) administration were too much to overcome.

For the city, the loss of Cerasoli will set back the arduous task of establishing an independent watchdog over City Hall. His hiring 17 months ago, and a subsequent City Charter change that solidified permanent financing for the office, were coups for a city long impervious to reform. Cerasoli agonized over the pressure to meet the lofty expectations of corruption-weary New Orleanians.

"I keep feeling this vicious guilt,” he said. "I've never given up on anything before in my life."

"It's just so hard, you know, the pressure,” he said, wiping away tears. "It's enormous. It's onerous. I get that all the time, people walking up to me on the street. . . . It's wonderful, seeing the rising expectations of the people here. But the last thing I want to be is the next 'last, best hope for New Orleans.'

"It's not about me. It's about building the office,” he said, repeating what has become a mantra even as he has become an unlikely celebrity in a job that in many places would be held by an anonymous functionary.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


Post a Comment

<< Home