Thursday, September 6, 2007

New Orleans' First Inspector General Begins Job With No Office, Staff Or Car

"As inspector general, Cerasoli is charged with investigating waste, fraud and corruption in city government and among those receiving money from the city. He is also expected to propose ways to make local government more efficient and to teach city officials about their ethical responsibilities.

When he was hired, he said he was "very encouraged" by the terms of the ordinance creating the New Orleans inspector general's office.

The ordinance says the inspector general's office will be "operationally independent" of the council, the Ethics Review Board and the mayor's office, meaning none of them can prevent the office from "initiating, carrying out or completing any audit, investigation or review."

The office is promised "access to all records, information, data, reports, plans, projections, matters, contracts, memoranda, correspondence and any other materials" of all city departments, including the council and the mayor's office. It is authorized to subpoena witnesses and records and to require sworn testimony."

We all hope that Mr. Cerasoli can help put an end to political corruption in New Orleans. New Orleans, however, is off to a great start with Stan "Pampy" Barre going to prison soon.

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