I got this story from a friend the other day. Basically it says that a local (well loved) politician has been caught taking a bribe and names other prominent in New Orleans politics and bag men. The reason for the bribes? To keep certain unnamed parking operators in their locations.
In checking with my contacts in the Big Easy I find that this is just business as usual. Virtually all dealings with the New Orleans City government is propelled by the fuel of bribery. In fact, my contacts in the business say that the folks named in the articles are "good friends" and well known to those in the parking business in New Orleans.
If you want to read a history of the entire fiasco log on to the New Orleans Times Picayune site and key in Oliver Thomas. Its a better place to do the research since the NYT charges you to read the article and the Times Picayune does not.
This investigation is brought to light because Oliver Thomas was considered a rising star in New Orleans politics. He was loved by all and expected to replace Ray Nagin as mayor. Had he been just another political hack no one would probably have noticed the story and how bagman Stan "Pappy" Barra, a local restauranteur and partner in a company that wanted to keep running parking facilities for the city in the French Quarter bribed the city councilman with a mere $20K.
Are any of the parking companies New Orleans managers quacking in their boots when they find that Barra turned states evidence to get a shorter sentence and is naming names? Probably not. This is small potatoes in the state of Louisiana.
In a few weeks all will be forgotten and life will go on, just as it has with other such deals, some much larger.
Sad, isn’t it.