Thursday, August 14, 2008

An Attorney General to the rescue

Well, it only took a couple of days before new Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell was able to swing into action and launch a criminal probe into the actions of Mayor Eddie Price, Jr. as well as others in his administration. As was revealed on TV and in the pages of the Times Picayune, the mayor has allegedly been involved in regularly accepting gifts and in kind donations from a slew of businessmen who do business with the city. He piled up approximately $9,000 in personal charges and $500 in gasoline charges on city credit cards for which he never paid back the city. According to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's report, others allegedly misusing city credit cards were finance director Milton Stiebing, city attorney David Cressy and, not to leave out the ladies, planning director Louisette Kidd. Mandeville police chief Tom Buell, the original source of allegations that launched he investigation, was also rebuked for allegedly using $140,000 from a Christmas toy fund to pay for parties and gifts for Mayor Price and other city officials. Following the recusal of St. Tammany Parish district attorney Walter Reed, Caldwell saw an opening and took it. Caldwell, the first Jewish Louisiana Attorney General, was moved by one of the lessons he learned in his religious school education, to wit, the Commandment that read "Thou shalt not steal."

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