Search This Blog


Glover's see no evil approach merits his job termination

Take Mayor Cedric Glover, subtract a hundred pounds or so, change the hair color and style, take off the glasses, and whitewash him, as because they already share the same attitude that allows corruption into Shreveport’s Department of Community Development, you wouldn’t be able to tell that former mayor Keith Hightower isn’t still in office.

Glover’s administration was stung by arrests of city employees made this week – so much so he has gone into seclusion from the media – who are accused of turning a blind eye that allowed contractors to be paid taxpayer money fraudulently, perhaps as much as $1.5 million and maybe much more. A grant program designed to pay contractors to improve residences of those on public assistance was abused by four contractors with the assistance of three city inspectors, with funds going to the four for substandard work and simply for no work performed, it is alleged.

Naturally, Glover said he hadn’t known about any of this, nor did the director of the department Bonnie Moore, until brought to their attention by investigators – despite the fact that some of the people supposed to be helped by the program realized what was going on and eventually that alerted Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator who opened the investigation. Even then, Prator described the city’s cooperation into the matter as lacking.

Regardless, this is no excuse for Glover. This department has been a chronic trouble spot, both in the area of paying out funds and inspections of property. In 2005, under Hightower and Moore, it was discovered that some associates of Hightower’s were getting what appeared to be favorable treatment on loans administered by the department. Instead of an investigation, Hightower and Moore stopped the program. Meanwhile, sloppy record keeping (also blamed for the lending controversy) in code enforcement essentially had ground that activity to a halt, costing the city millions of dollars in uncollected fines and in payment of maintenance of adjudicated property.

Glover ignored that history, retained Moore when he took over City Hall, and at least tried to beef up code enforcement and adjudication. Turns out he’s back to square zero on that, because with the arrest of the city inspectors for now there are no city employees to do any inspecting. If guilty as they are charged, one must wonder just how many other corrupt activities in this area have gone unnoticed, and for how many years.

Now there’s this. As an evidence of how badly managed the department is, some of the arrested contractors are that only in name – they have no license, which can be determined in a matter of seconds here. (Another name a couple of them have is “ex-con,” another red flag gone unnoticed.) Only the most inattentive and/or reckless management would fail to check that the contracts they are letting actually go to operators with state licenses.

If all of this happened in a place that values competence, Moore would have the sense to resign or Glover would have the gumption to fire her and either way make massive changes to the agency. Instead, among the last words he has spoken to the media he defended her. Which leads to the inevitable conclusion that, if Glover is not going to take seriously this matter, the person that’s going to get fired is him in 2010.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent article;
However,regarding the surfacing of the miscreants involved in this tale; I think you will find that they rose to the top, like pond scum, during the Blount Brothers Construction illegal dumping investigation. Alphonse's name quickly came up, and other people came forward with their "experiences" with Mr Williams' companies and associates.