Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The latest from Louisiana

It's about time and the outcome is yet to be determined, but a federal investigation has been launched and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin have been asked "for a detailed accounting of their response to Hurricane Katrina."

Another scandal has erupted from post-Katrina New Orleans. It came out shortly after the hurricane struck and New Orleans was flooded that Rep. William Jefferson "took a couple of National Guard troops and a helicopter out to his place during the height of the crisis to pick up a few things from home he just couldn’t bear to lose."

This, of course, was in the wake of an on-going FBI criminal investigation. The saga continues for Jefferson as more subpoenas have been issued "in the ongoing investigation of the veteran lawmaker ..." The most recent subpoenae was for his chief of staff, Nicole Venable, in an investigation as to "whether the Louisiana Democrat illegally pocketed hundreds of thousands of dollars from a startup technology firm during an FBI-authorized sting operation. Jefferson’s homes in Washington, D.C., and Louisiana have been searched, as well as his car, and FBI agents reportedly turned up a large amount of cash that Jefferson had in his freezer."

He's no Marion Barry, though. The former Washington, D.C., mayor — who spent six months in prison in 1991 in an FBI drug sting that videotaped him smoking crack cocaine — is being investigated for "failing to file federal income tax returns and pay taxes ...."

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